Gov. Otti signs Governors and Deputy Governors Pension Repeal Bill into law

Governor Alex Otti of Abia State on Thursday signed the Abia State of Nigeria Governors and Deputy Governors Pension Repel bill of 2024 into law.

Otti described the new law as part of the efforts made to promote good governance and stewardship in Abia State.

The governor said that he strongly believed that leadership was all about stewardship and should not be viewed as an opportunity to embezzle public funds.

He thanked the Abia State House of Assembly for expeditiously dealing with the bill, which was an executive bill, and commended them for the cordial relationship between the legislative and executive arms of government.

Otti said that the cordial relationship between both arms of government had been built on trust and understanding that the separate arms of government were working together for the people.

He assured the legislature of maximum support from the Executive.

Otti described the new law regarding revoking pension payments to former office holders as a step in the right direction.

He said: “Government is not about self interest.

“It is actually self interest that destroys the government.”

Otti said prioritising public welfare over individual benefits ought to be given key consideration in policy-making.

He said he was aware that he would have benefitted if the law continued to exist, adding that it was best to use the funds to improve the lives of citizens.

He also said that pensioners were the people that needed the funds the most and not former office holders.

He expressed displeasure over the practice of allocating 80 percent of the state’s budget to recurrent expenditure and 20 percent to capital expenditure by past administrations.

He said the changed policy was part of the efforts made by the present administration to reduce the cost of governance.

Otti said: “I have seen engagements where people said that they have not been collecting.

“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.”

The Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Emmanuel Emereuwa, said the bill when signed into law would revoke the Abia State Governors’ and Deputy Governors’ Law no 4 of 2001.

Emeruwa, represented by his Deputy, Austin Meregini, said he had come to present the bill to the governor for his assent.

In a remark, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ikechukwu Uwanna, said the governor had taken a bold and audacious step by assenting to the bill.

Uwanna said he believed that it was in line with the will of the people and thanked the House of Assembly for working in tandem with the executive to transform the

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