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Otti Approves Bill Stopping Pension of former Abia Governors

Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, has signed the bill which abrogates pension payments to former governors of the state and their deputies.

Recall that the Abia House of Assembly passed the bill for a law to repeal ‘The Abia State Governors & Deputy Governors Pensions Law No 4 of 2001’ on Tuesday.

The bill was sponsored by the lawmaker representing the Arochukwu constituency, Okoro Uchenna Kalu.

The law stipulates that former Abia governors and deputies are entitled to 100 percent of the annual basic salaries of the incumbent governor and deputy.

It also specified that their cooks, stewards, drivers, and gardeners are to be paid by the state; and are entitled to three police officers and two operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

The former Abia governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, who served from 1999 to 2007, and cunrretly a senator representing the Abia North Senatorial District, approved the law in 2001.

Speaking after the signing of the bill, Otti said the new law was designed to promote good governance and stewardship in the state.

Otti said it was his belief that the leadership should be about stewardship and not a means to embezzle public funds.

The Abia governor lauded the state lawmakers for their diligence and selfless service in working on the executive bill, while expressing satisfaction in the relationship between the executive and legislature.

“Government is not about self interest, it is actually self interest that destroys government,” Otti said.

The governor said priority should be given to public interest during the formulation of policies.

He added that pensioners are the ones who need the funds the most and not former governors and deputies.

Speaking further about the old law on whether the ex-governors and their deputies were beneficiaries as some of them have denied receiving entitlements, Otti said the former governors have not been paid entitlements stipulated by the old law.

“I have seen engagements where people said that they have not been collecting,” the governor added.

“It is true because they have not been paid, and we don’t believe that those payments should be made. One of the people that should be paid wrote to me about not being paid, I put a call across to him and explained why it should not be paid and he agreed with me.

“I told him we have not paid anyone and he said that he wants to confirm that he was not being singled out. The point I am trying to make is that even the people that should receive it believe that repealing the law is the best.”

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