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OFFICIAL: Otti signs bill abolishing pension for former govs in Abia

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Dr Alex Otti, the governor of Abia State on Thursday officially signed the Abia State of Nigeria Governors and Deputy Governors Pension Repeal Bill of 2024 into law.

The bill was sponsored by the Leader of the House, and member representing Arochukwu state constituency, Honourable Uchenna Kalu.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr Otti said government should not be about self-interest but the people’s interest.

Otti said that he believed that leadership was all about stewardship and should not be seen as an opportunity to loot public funds.

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

Mr 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.

He said that “government is not about self-interest, it is actually self-interest that destroys government.”

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

Speaking further, Otti stated that he was aware that he would have benefitted if the law continued to exist and that it was best to use the funds to improve the lives of citizens.

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

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

He said that the changed policy was part of the efforts made by his government to cut down the cost of governance.

Mr 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 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.”

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