The Enugu State House of Assembly has stepped down a bill seeking to grant life pension benefits running into billions of naira to ex-governors and their deputies in the state.
The Assembly had considered the executive bill tagged ‘Enugu State Gubernatorial Pensions Bill 2021’, last Thursday.
It was gathered that the entitlements for former governors, their deputies and wives as contained in the bill contradict the provisions of the law guiding life pension.
Its provisions cover almost any possible major expenses an ex-governor can incur in their life, including 900 per cent of a governor’s annual salary as allowances and N12 million for the wife yearly.
The development had generated public criticism and heated controversies in several quarters with many lambasting the state government for appropriating wealth to past leaders at the expense of the citizens.
On Tuesday morning, protesters stormed the Assembly complex, asking the lawmakers to withdraw the proposed law.
They cited the state’s 58 per cent poverty rate and poor internally generated revenue as some of the reasons the bill should be dropped.
At the plenary session, Edward Ubosi, Speaker of the House, said the lawmakers would “thoroughly go through it (the bill) to enable them to delete and add necessary sections to it.”
The majority leader, Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, said the Assembly would be guided by the views of their constituents when reconsidering the bill.
Ezeugwu said the House of Assembly will hold a public hearing on the bill to ensure all opinions are considered.
He also denied claims that the legislative arm is “a rubber-stamp’’ of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the state governor.