Imo State Governor, 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, while signing the bill into law in Owerri on Friday, noted 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.
Mr Uzodinma said he did not approve the situation where some beneficiaries of such payments also get huge amount of money as salaries and allowances in other positions they occupy such as serving senators or members of the House of Representatives.
“Apart from the inconsistency of such a law to the provisions of the ground norm, which is the Constitution of 1999 (as amended), this has led for a very long time a precedence that does not encourage diligence and prudence in service delivery,” he said.
The governor, however thanked the State House of Assembly for rising to the occasion and embracing totally the desire of government to strengthen the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base of the state.
He assured the people of the state of his commitment and desire to grow an economy that will stand the test of time.
On his part, Speaker of the Imo House of Assembly, Chiji Collins, said the house presented two bills for the governor’s assent — the Bill on Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and Bill on the Repeal of Pensions and Gratuity.
He said that the Bill on Pensions and Gratuity has long been repealed in many states of the federation when it was discovered to run contrary to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
The repeal means past governors like Senator Rochas Okorocha, Emeka Ihedioha, Ikedi Ohakim and others will stop enjoying such benefits.
Present at the signing of the bill into law were the deputy governor, Placid Njoku; deputy speaker of the assembly, Amara Iwuanyanwu; majority leader, Uche Ogbuagu and other members of the house, as well as some members of the state’s expanded executive council.