Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma has explained that his government sponsored the bill on the repeal of Governors and Speakers Pensions and Privileges Law of 2007 because it was illegal and designed to allow a few privileged people feed fat on the commonwealth of the people.
He made the explanation yesterday at the government house, Owerri, where he assented to the bill repealing the pensions law which was passed by the House of Assembly on Thursday.
He said the law was against the Pensions Act which stipulates that only those who have put in a minimum of 10 years in public service were entitled to pensions, adding that former governors and Speakers stay in office for a maximum of eight years.
The governor 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.
“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?”