The Executive Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, on Friday, May 22, 2020, Signed a bill repealing pension and gratuity for ex-government officials in Imo state. While putting pen to paper on Friday, the Governor stated that the law runs contrary to amendments made in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which ushered in the fourth republic and the country’s present democratic dispensation. The constitution as amended clearly states that a pensioner must have worked for at least a period of 10 years and must be up to 45 years of age to be eligible for pension and gratuities.
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Governor Hope Uzodinma also regretted the fact that some of the beneficiaries of the law which he repealed with his signature on Friday also earn huge sum of money in form of salaries and allowances in other positions they presently occupy such as serving in the Nigerian Senate or as members of the House of Representatives, something Uzodinma believes is a great discouragement to diligence and prudence in the delivery of service to the people.
Apart from the inconsistency of such a law to the provisions of the ground norm, which is the Constitution of 1999 (as amended), this has led for a very long time a precedence that does not encourage diligence and prudence in service delivery.Hope Uzodinma
However, the Governor thanked the State House of Assembly for being supportive and embracing his administration’s plans towards strengthening the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base of the south eastern state, while assuring the good people of Imo state of his dedication and commitment towards building a stable economy for the Eastern Heartland.
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Reacting to the development, Chiji Collins, the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, who noted that the Governor had been presented with two bills: one for the Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, and the Bill on the Repeal of Pensions and Gratuity, stated that the bill on pensions and gratuity has for a long period been repealed in many states of the federation once it was noticed that it runs contrary to the 1999 amended constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Other dignitaries that were present at the signing ceremony include Placid Njoku, the Deputy Governor of Imo State; Amara Iwuanyanwu, the Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly; the Majority Leader, Uche Ogbuagu; as well as other members of the House, inclusive of the expanded Executive Council of the State.
Without a doubt, the move by Governor Uzodinma is a commendable one as it will afford the state the opportunity to spend less on recurrent expenditures in form of pensions and gratuities being paid to former government officials of the state. Spending less on recurrent expenditures will also assist the state save more and be able to carry out capital projects aimed at developing the state for the good of citizens.
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