Gov Otti Assents To Bill Scrapping Pension Benefits For Ex-Governors, Deputies In Abia State

 

Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, has assented to the Abia State of Nigeria Governors and Deputy Governors Pension Repeal Law of 2024, recently passed by the Abia State House of Assembly.

 

Assenting to the Bill,  Governor Otti expressed gratitude to the State House of Assembly for swiftly passing the Bill, emphasizing that it was an Executive bill.

 

The Governor reiterated his stance against the practice of paying pensions to former Governors and Deputy Governors, pointing out that it is better to use the funds in clearing the backlog of pension owed to retired Abia workers since 2014.

 

He clarified that his administration had consistently opposed the notion of extending pension benefits to former government officials, stressing that leadership is about stewardship, not self-interest.

 

“I want to make a few things clear, one that even before we came onboard a lot of people who had followed our views understand that we were not going to continue with the practice of paying pensions and allowances to this set of former government officials.

 

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“A lot of people had confronted me to me that very soon I will also be a former Governor and i agree completely.

 

 

“Leadership is all about good governance, it’s all about stewardship to our people and i strongly believe that any leader who believes that leadership is a business has lost his way.

 

“As far as I am concerned, leadership is stewardship and if you now want to take up all the resources that belong to the people you are leading, I’m not sure that is morally correct.

 

“Government is not about self interest and it’s actually self interest that destroys government and if you accuse me of belonging to a class, I would readily admit but add that i have happily committed class suicide, because I would had benefitted if this law had continued.

 

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“But we all know that it’s not the best for the country, for this state, for the workers who were hitherto owed for months, for pensioners who we are still struggling to defray several months and years of arrears from 2014, it’s more appropriate for us to use the funds that would have been used to pay former elected political office holders”, Gov Otti stated.

 

He appreciated the House for the cordial relationship existing between it and the Executive arm of government which according to him is built on trust, respect and dedication to serving the common good of the people .

 

Earlier while presenting the bill for assent, the Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Emereuwa, represented by the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Austin Meregini, said the Bill repeals law no 4 of 2001 which empowers the State government to be paying pension to Governors and Deputy Governors in the State and thanked Governor Otti for the collaborative effort between the Executive and Legislative arms of government.

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