April 17, 2024

Abia State House of Assembly Repeals Wasteful Pension Law for Ex-Governors

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Okoro Uchenna Kalu sponsored the Bill to repel Ex-Govs, Dep Pension in Abia State

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By Reporter

In 2001, Orji Kalu, the former Governor of Abia State, who served from 1999 to 2007, signed the “Abia State Governors and Deputy Governors Pensions Law No 4 of 2001.”

The law stipulated that the former governors and deputies are entitled to 100 percent of the annual basic salaries of the incumbent governor and deputy; their cooks, stewards, drivers, and gardeners are to be paid by the state; and are entitled to three police officers and two operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Former governors were also entitled to two vehicles worth N20 million each every four years.

Gov Otti

The law also made other lavish provision of cash and assets for former Governors until they die.

The Abia State House of Assembly in response to the desire of Governor Alex Otti’s fiscal responsiveness, has made a landmark decision by repealing Law number 4 of 2021, known as the Abia State Governor’s and Deputy Governor’s Pensions Law.

Many of the 36 States of the Federation, including Edo State, operates the same wasteful law.

The move follows widespread criticism of the law, which provided for substantial benefits for former governors and deputies, including security, medical services, cooks, and stewards, funded by the state government.

The bill which was sponsored by Okoro Uchenna Kalu, the lawmaker representing the Arochukwu State Constituency, was designed to “ensure that the outrageous cost of governance is reduced to channel Abia state resources towards the development of the state.”

The bill that repealed the controversial law, titled: “H.A.B 11, The Abia State Governor’s and Deputy Governor’s Pensions Law Repeal Bill 2024,” received overwhelming support from members of the Assembly and have been praised by the Speaker, Chief Emmanuel Emeruwa, who commended his colleagues for their cooperation in passing the bill, and emphasized that, its aligned with public sentiment.

Also, the Deputy Speaker Augustine Okezie praised the swift passage of the bill, highlighting its responsiveness to the desires of Abia State residents.

The repel of the wasteful law by Abia State House of Assembly brings to question, members of Edo State House of Assembly who recently embarked on an exercise to impeach Governor Godwin Obaseki’s deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu.

Various reports have emerged in the wake of the long expected politically motivated impeachment, amongst several is the allegation of inducement of some members by the Governor.

One report stated that “…the Governor had promised each of the 21 members, the sum of $6000 USD, with an initial payment of $4000,” and that, “…the outstanding $2000 was advanced to the lawmakers after they wrote the Chief Judge to set up the 7-Man investigation panel.”

The gladdening development in Abia State, under Dr. Alex Otti, underscores a significant shift in separation of power, good governance, state government priorities and shows Abia State House of Assembly’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and public accountability.

Read Also: From Geometric to Alaoji Power Plant, Gov Otti Pushes Ahead for Stable Electricity in Abia

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