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Gov. Otti signs law repealing payment of pensions to former Abia Govs, Deputies 

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Alex Otti11

Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, has recently enacted a law that terminates the payment of pensions to former governors and deputy governors of the state.  

Governor Otti, in detailing the origins of the bill, expressed his appreciation for the Assembly’s rapid approval, noting that it was an Executive Bill designed to end pension payments to former state executives.  

He mentioned that, from the start, he was of the opinion that the government would eventually stop the pension payments to previous Governors and Deputy Governors. 

According to him, a better use of the money would be to address the pending pension payments to Abia’s retirees, which have been overdue since 2014. 

  • “I want to make a few things clear, one that even before we came onboard a lot of people who had followed our views understand that we were not going to continue with the practice of paying pensions and allowances to this set of former government officials.  
  • “A lot of people had confronted me to remind me that very soon I will also be a former Governor and I agree completely,” he said.  

While stressing that government was not about self interest, the Governor said he believes that repealing the pensions for Governors and Deputy Governors was the right step to take as it is all about good governance and stewardship.  

  • “So it’s all about good governance, it’s all about stewardship to our people and I strongly believe that any leader who believes that leadership is a business has lost his way.  
  • “As far as I am concerned, leadership is stewardship and if you now want to take up all the resources that belong to the people you are leading, I’m not sure that is morally correct,” Otti stated. 

Workers 2014 Pension Backlog to be cleared  

Otti emphasized that government should transcend personal gain, asserting that it’s the pursuit of self-interest which undermines governmental integrity.  

Moreover, the governor said the funds would be more effectively allocated to clearing the accumulated pension arrears of Abia’s retired workers dating back to 2014, among others.  

  • “Government is not about self-interest. It’s actually self-interest that destroys government and if you accuse me of belonging to a class, I would readily admit but add that I have happily committed class suicide because I would had benefitted if this law had continued.  
  • “But we all know that it’s not the best for the country, for this state, for the workers who were hitherto owed for months.for pensioners who we are still struggling to defray several months and years of arrears from 2014, it’s more appropriate for us to use the funds that would have been used to pay former elected political office holders,” he said. 

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