Amby Uneze in Owerri
Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma has signed an executive bill repealing the law that created pension allowances and gratuities to former governors, deputy governors, speakers and deputy speakers.
Uzodimma assented to the bill at Sam Mbakwe Exco Chambers, Government House, Owerri yesterday in the presence of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Chiji Collins and other top functionaries.
After signing the bill, he noted that the law had become necessary because the old law contradicted 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.
Uzodimma noted: “Apart from the inconsistency of such a law to the provisions of the grundnorm, which is the Constitution of 1999 (as amended), this has led for a very long time to a precedence that does not encourage diligence and prudence in service delivery.”
He regretted a situation where some of the beneficiaries of such payments equally get huge amount of money as salaries and allowances in other positions they occupied such as seating senators or members of the House of Representatives.
While thanking the Imo State House of Assembly for rising to the occasion and embracing totally the desire of government to strengthen the internally generated revenue base of the state, Uzodimma pledged his commitment to grow an economy that would stand the test of time.
Addressing journalists, Collins said they presented two bills for the governor’s accent: the Bill on Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and Bill on the repeal of Pensions and Gratuity.
Collins said that the Bill on Pensions and Gratuity had long been repealed in many states of the federation when it was discovered it ran contrary to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
The Bill on Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, the Speaker explained, was to ensure that the university was moved to where it belonged: the Imo State College of Agriculture Umuagwo where the National Universities Commission (NUC) visited for accreditation and not Aboh Mbaise as people were clamouring.
Present at the signing of the Bill to repeal the Law on Pensions, Allowancesand Gratuities were the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof. Placid Njoku; the Deputy Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Amara Iwuanyanwu; the Majority Leader, Uche Ogbuagu and other members of Imo State House of Assembly, as well as some members of the state expanded Executive Council.