Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has assented to an amended bill of ‘Imo State Governors and Speakers Pensions and Privileges law No 5 of 2007,’ an executive sponsored bill that
removes past Governors, Deputy Governors and Speakers from receiving pensions from the State.
Also signed into law was the bill to amend the University of Agriculture and Environmental Studies law number 4 of 2019, a bill that seeks to stick to the original registration particulars of the law on which the National Universities Commission’s (NUC) approval was based, which had no room for a multi campus arrangement.
Speaking while signing the bills into law, Governor Hope Uzodimma described the
Governors and Speakers Pensions and Privileges’ law as a bad law that needed to be repealed, saying that “it was anti people. It was in bad faith. It was fraudulent.” According to him, “I am quite glad to give my assent to these two important bills that were passed by the house of Assembly.”
Senator Uzodimma used the ceremony to explain that the Executive sponsored the two bills because it has now dawned on him “that the Imo State Governors and Speakers Pensions and Privileges law No 5 of 2007 was a bad omen.” He said “I was alarmed that the financial implications for the State will not only be scandalous but indefensible. My simple calculation told me that there could come a time when the State could be spending more than one third of its resources to maintain former Governors and Speakers;” saying that “this was unacceptable to me, particularly for a State that has not been able to pay the gratuities of many retired public servants. It is more so because the same Governors and Speakers also recieved severance allowances, amounting to several millions of Naira, when they disengage from office.”
He spoke further on the amended University law that “the law, as now amended, only seeks to set the records straight and to build the new university on existing structures at Umoagwo, while we relocate the Imo state polytechnic to another deserving site.”
The Governor further stated that the Pensions Act is very clear that only those who have served in the public service for a minimum of 10 years are perssionable, maintaining that paying Governors , Speakers and their deputies who spend a maximum of 8 years or less in office is against the law of the land. He said “I am supposed to benefit from this law when I leave office as Governor. Yet I called for its repeal. This should leave no one in doubt that I am acting in the best interest of our state and our people.” and stressed that no one should make any mistake about his decision to assent to the bill as he could not have condone such a law.
He said he was glad that the House of Assembly members saw reason with him to repeal the law.