Benue Assembly repeals life pension law for ex-governors, deputies

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The Benue State House of Assembly has repealed the law for the maintenance of former elected governors of the state and their deputies.

The bill was passed and assented to by former Governor Samuel Ortom in the twilight of his administration in May 2023.

The bill to repeal the law was presented on Monday by Douglas Akya, the Chairman of the House standing Committee on Appointments, Public Service and Pension Matters, who represents Makurdi South Constituency in the state assembly.

Akya said the law was not enacted in the interest of the state which has lean resources to finance other pressing obligations.

Some other lawmaker like Samuel Agada who represents Ogbadibo Constituency and Alfred Emberga of Makurdi North Constituency, noted that the meagre resources of the state makes it unwise to spend exorbitantly on former governors and their deputies, when the state has a huge infrastructure gaps and debt burden.

There had been public outcry since the bill was passed by the Ortom administration, particularly from the opposition party which later won the governorship election.

Many had called on Governor Hyacinth Alia to repeal the law when he assumed office but things did not take the speed of light as it took the lawmakers one year to repeal the pension law.

Also at plenary on Monday, the legislators passed the bill to prohibit harassment and extortion of money from investors, developers and businessmen popularly known as ‘marching ground’.

Chairman of House standing committee on Lands, Survey and Solid Minerals, Elias Audu who led the debate, said when passed, the law would address the excesses of miscreants who go about extorting money from developers and residents.