SAN FRANCISCO, May 22, (THEWILL) – Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma has signed a bill abolishing pensions for former state governors, deputies and the speakers and deputy speakers of the house of assembly in the state.
The governor said the executive sponsored the bill because it was illegal and designed to allow a few privileged people feed fat on the commonwealth of the people.
He said the repealed law runs contrary to the 1999 Constitution as amended, which stipulates that a pensioner must have worked for at least 10 years and must be up to 45 years of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.
“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.
“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,” he said.
THEWILL recalls that many states have similar outrageous pension schemes for former governors and their deputies despite the public outcry against it.