Uzodinma Abolishes Payment Of Pension To Ex-Governors, Speakers In Imo State.
The Executive Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma has assented to a bill repealing the law that created pension allowances and gratuities for former governors, deputy governors, assembly speakers and deputy speakers.
The Governor stated this on Friday, May 22nd at the state government house in Owerri while signing the bill into law explaining that the erstwhile law runs contrary to the 1999 constitution as amended, which stipulates that a pensioner must have worked for at least 10 years and must be up to 45 years of age.
He also wondered how the same people who collect fat severance allowances at the end of their tenure can turn around to be paid Pensions as well.
Uzodinma said “As a young state grappling with enormous challenges, it dawned on me that the Imo state Governors and Speakers Pensions and Privileges law No 5 of 2007 was a bad omen. At the age our Governors and Speakers are leaving office it will not be out of place to assume that many of them will be alive and kicking in the next 15 years or more. This will mean that by then the state will have more than 20 governors and Speakers qualified for Pensions and Privileges
“I was alarmed that the financial implications for the state will not only be scandalous but indefensible. My simple calculation told me that there could come a time when the state could be spending more than one third of its resources to maintain former Governors and Speakers”
He continued “the same Governors and Speakers also received severance allowances, amounting to several millions of Naira, when they disengage from office.
“How then can the same category of former public office holders turn around to receive Pensions?”
“Even more importantly the Pensions act is very clear that only those who have served in the public service for a minimum of 10 years are pensionable. Paying governors , Speakers and their deputies who spend a maximum of eight years or less in office is actually criminal because it is against the law of the land.”
The Governor stressed that his administration will not condone such law and that history and his conscience will not forgive him if he did not act in the interest of his people.