Obasanjo Urges Governors To Abolish Pensions For Ex-Governors Deputies

Nmesoma Okwudili


March 24, 2024

Governor Alex Otti and the Abia State House of Assembly have earned praise from former President Olusegun Obasanjo for their bold decision to repeal the law that previously granted lifelong pensions to former governors and their deputies.

Governor Otti ratified the Executive Bill on Thursday night, following its approval by the House of Assembly on Tuesday. The bill repealed the existing pension law. During a Friday courtesy visit to Governor Otti in Abia, Obasanjo expressed his gratitude. He visited at the same time as his former Special Assistant on Privatization, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, celebrated his 61st birthday in Item.

The decision to repeal the pension law represents a significant departure from the norm and demonstrates a commitment to accountability in governance and fiscal responsibility. It sets an admirable example for other jurisdictions to reconsider similar laws that can unnecessarily strain public finances.

Obasanjo’s acknowledgment of Governor Otti’s leadership and the legislation emphasizes the importance of responsive government and the necessity for leaders to prioritize the needs of the people over their own. The increasing recognition among political leaders of the need to implement reforms that serve the public interest and promote transparency and fairness in governance is evident in this decision.

This move is a step in the right direction towards fostering a culture of responsible governance in Abia State and enhancing public confidence in government institutions. He commended Governor Otti for his courage in repealing the law that had previously allowed former state governors and deputy governors to be eligible for pensions.

Obasanjo emphasized the stark contrast between the extravagant pensions received by previous governors and deputies and the lack of pensions for regular retired workers in Abia until 2014. He denounced this as blatant theft that occurred in broad daylight.

Reflecting on his conversation with Governor Otti, Obasanjo recounted watching the news coverage of the repeal of pensions in Abia. He expressed incredulity at the situation, questioning the fairness of a system that allowed former governors to enjoy lavish benefits, including housing in Abuja and other perks, while neglecting the rightful dues of ordinary citizens.

Governor Otti received praise from the former president for his tenacity and resolve in overcoming obstacles to become the governor of Abia State. The former president emphasized the importance of the duties ahead and the substantial amount of work they entail.

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to you. Congratulations on your unwavering perseverance, for standing firm amids t adversity, and for the commendable actions you took recently regarding the pensions for former governors and deputies,” Obasanjo remarked.

Taking note of Governor Otti’s commitment to physical activity, Obasanjo made a remark regarding the importance of preserving one’s physical and mental well-being for effective leadership. He emphasized the significance of leaders maintaining healthy lifestyles by drawing a comparison between this and his own practice of playing squash regularly.

Obasanjo urged Governor Otti to prioritize infrastructure development in the state, emphasizing the critical role that these advancements play in propelling growth and elevating Abia to greater heights.

Responding to the former President’s counsel, Governor Otti assured him of his administration’s unwavering commitment to infrastructural development. He particularly highlighted the significance of focusing on Aba, recognizing it as central to the state’s overall progress and prosperity.

He disclosed that in the last nine months, his government had completed and officially opened ten road projects in Aba, and that thirty-one more roads were still being built at various stages. Governor Otti also conveyed his appreciation to the outgoing President for supporting his administration’s decision to repeal the law that provided pensions to past governors and deputy governors. He underlined how both state and federal governments are confronted with the pervasive problem of high governance expenses.

Additionally, Otti said “I agree with you completely on your comment about infrastructure. That is why we are very focused and single-minded in developing infrastructure. Particularly for Aba, which is the commercial and industrial hub of the state, and the South-East”


Obasanjo commends Gov Otti for scrapping ex-governors outrageous pension law

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