Friday, December 3, 2021
MARKET UPDATE

TheCable

Advertisement

Akwa Ibom to repeal new pension law

Akwa Ibom to repeal new pension law
June 03
15:40 2014

The governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, is proposing to repeal aspects of the Former Governor and Deputy Governor’s Pension Law 2014 that have come under heavy public criticism.

Advertisement

In a TV interview monitored by TheCable, Akpabio said that at no time was a pension of N100million fixed for former governors and their spouses, and N30million for former deputy governors and their spouses as widely reported.

He said the previous law did not set any upper limits and to check abuses, he proposed a ceiling of N100million and N30million respectively, but that the facts have been deliberately twisted by his political opponents without regard for “the truth”.

He said: “Before this law was amended, it provided no upper limit for how much could be spent on medical treatment and insurance for former governors, former deputy governors, and their spouses. This was subject to abuse. It means they could spend up to N300million.

Advertisement

“What the amendment did was to set an upper limit of a total of N100million for the former governor and the spouse, and a total of N30million for the former deputy governor and the spouse.”

Akpabio said that to douse the “propaganda” generated by the law, he was proposing a repeal by the state house of assembly and a return to status quo — an open cheque without limit.

“Ironically, the money is not going to be given to anybody in cash. This is medical insurance. It will only be paid directly to the hospitals involved,” he said, adding that the law was first passed 16 years ago and had been amended three times.

Advertisement

He said he would now resort to “executive” instruments to stop the medical bills from “getting out of hand”.

The amended law, which was passed on May 26, 2014, generated public uproar when it was discovered, among others, that former governors will have N5million a month to employ domestic staff, while their deputies get N2.5million for the same purpose.

Former governors were to be paid pension for life at the rate of the current governor’s salary, meaning that upon retiring, Akpabio would earn an annual pension of N26.7million, while his deputy, Mrs. Valerie Ibe, would earn an annual pension of N25.3million.

Another part of the law stated that a former governor would be entitled to free medical services for himself and his spouse at a sum “not exceeding” N100 million per annum, and N50 million for a former deputy governor.

Advertisement

It also provided for a former governor a befitting accommodation not below a 5-bedroom maisonette in either Abuja or Akwa Ibom, in addition to a yearly accommodation allowance of 300 per cent of annual basic salary for an ex-governor.

The passage of the law attracted widespread criticism, many analysts branding it an effort of Akpabio to continue enriching himself with state funds after leaving office — an allegation his commissioner for information, Aniekan Umanah, has vehemently denied.

1 Comment

  1. Bola
    Bola June 05, 22:26

    Until this Pension Law, I had some respect for Akpabio, since people claimed he had improved the infrastructure of Akwa Ibom. Now, I see he is just as greedy as the rest of his ilk. Does he know the average person in his state earns about N600,000p.a? He is clearly out of touch with reality.

    Reply to this comment

Write a Comment