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Gov To Sign Gov/Deputy Pension Bill In Imo State

Gov To Sign Gov/Deputy Pension Bill In Imo State. Despite stiff opposition, the Rivers State House of Assembly recently passed into law, a controversial bill that provided for the payment

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قديم 06-04-2012, 07:03 PM
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افتراضي Gov To Sign Gov/Deputy Pension Bill In Imo State

Gov To Sign Gov/Deputy Pension Bill In Imo State. Despite stiff opposition, the Rivers State House of Assembly recently passed into law, a controversial Bill that provided for the payment of pensions to governors and their deputies. Tagged the “Rivers State Public Office Holders (Payment of Pension) Bill 2012”, the Bill is however, yet to be signed into law by Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

It seeks to provide Amaechi and other former governors and their deputies with two houses in any place of their choice within Abuja and Rivers State, plus three cars that will be replaced every three years and receive 300 per cent funding for any furniture of their choice.

Other benefits include 20 per cent funding for utility, 10 per cent funding for entertainment, and 10 per cent for houses of their choice. There is also provision for free medical expenses for him and his immediate family; and security details that will include two officials of the State Security Service (SSS), one female officer of the same department, eight police officers for personal and domestic security, and domestic staff including a cook, steward, gardener and others. All the domestic staff, including drivers, shall be pensionable, according to the bill.

However, the Bill was posed with a serious challenge when it came up for debate on the floor of the State legislature as it almost created a face-off among members of the House.

To Hon. Victor Ihunwo representing Port Harcourt Constituency III in the House, it was morally wrong for the House to pass such a bill. According to him, it would be wrong for a governor after serving for eight years, would approach a State to build a house for him, saying; “Let us not sit here and deliberate on this bill, why we are not involved in the bill, the first time this Bill came to this house, I almost cried. If this continues in the state, I pity this State because it will go a long way in wasting state’s resources”.

For Hon Kelechi Godspower Nwaogu, the member representing Omuma Constituency in the House, his decision not to support the Bill was based on the fact that it did not include other political office holders. Also, Belema Okpokiri, representing Okrika constituency, spoke against the Bill that it did not serve the interest of Rivers people. However, Hon. Aye Pepple, representing Bonny Constituency in the House said there was nothing wrong with the bill. While urging his colleagues to pass the controversial Bill into law, Pepple said it was in conformity with the provisions of the constitution.

The debate and subsequent passage of the Bill into law by the State House of Assembly had not gone down well with the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which described the Bill as “unpopular, unethical, colonial, fraudulent, and unacceptable”.

In a statement in Port Harcourt, the ACN publicity secretary, Jerry Needam said, “It is no longer a secret that the abject poverty and suffering starring our people in the face in the midst of plenty is deliberately designed, using government as a cover. There could not have been a better indicator to this evil than the proposed public office holders (payment of pension) Bill currently before the State House of Assembly.

The Bill among others is seeking to ensure that whether or not a governor continues in office he, the family, retinue of staff and relations do not lack anything economically and financially for life. What the people are waiting to see is whether or not Governor Amaechi would assent to the Bill considering the amount of opposition to it since it was first presented to the House for debate.
Gov To Sign Gov/Deputy Pension Bill In Imo State

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