All former governors and deputy governors in Enugu State would, henceforth, receive pensions for life, according to a law passed by the Enugu State House of Assembly on Tuesday.
The development followed the amendment of the ‘gubernatorial pensions bill, 2015 and other matters connected therewith’, to provide for lifetime pensions for former governors and deputy governors, including those from the ‘Old Anambra’ and ‘Old Enugu’ eras.
The law, however, would not be applicable to any governor or deputy governor who was impeached.
Before the bill was passed into law at a plenary session on Tuesday, Leader of the House, Mr. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, noted that the amendment became necessary to accommodate all former governors and deputy governors in the state, from the days of the Old Anambra State.
Those that would benefit from the development include Chief Jim Nwobodo, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, Dr. Chimaraoke Nnamani, and Sullivan Chime, as well as their respective deputies.
The member representing Nkanu-East, Mr. Paul Nnajiofor, noted that the passage of the amended bill was long overdue.
He added that the House endorsed the lifetime pension to appreciate the role played by the former governors and deputy governors in the development of the state.
“This law as amended will give our respected and revered elder statesmen their due, and appreciate them for the immense contribution to the development of the state,” Nnajiofor said.
Another lawmaker, Mary Ugwu, Enugu-South Rural, expressed hopes that the lifetime pension would motivate current and future governors and their deputies to serve the state with dedication and transparency.
“It will have enduring effect on chief executives of the state, thus making them to serve meritoriously, knowing that they have something to fall back on tomorrow after office,” Ugwu said.
The Speaker, Mr. Edward Ubosi, who commended the lawmakers after the bill was passed into law, noted that, with the development, former governors and their deputies in the state would feel like their counterparts in other states where similar laws are applicable.
Ubosi added that the law would enable the former state chief executives to reap the fruits of their labour’.
He said, “The reason for passing this amended bill is to allow citizens of Enugu State, who have served this state as governors in Old Anambra and Old Enugu, to receive a pension.
“This will make them be like and feel like others and also reap from the benefit of their immense contributions to the development of the present Enugu State.”