Rivers’ LGA repeals by-law on payment of pension to past chairmen, vice chairmen

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Mr Erastus Awortu, Chairman, Andoni local government area of Rivers, has assented to a bill seeks to abolish payment of pension and other fringe benefits to former elected Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the council.

Awortu stated this on Wednesday in Ngo, the council’s headquarters, shortly after a meeting he held with the 11 councillors of the council area.

Describing the abolished pension law as anti-developmental, he noted abolishing it would assist in accelerating infrastructural development of the council.

The Pension law, established in 2013, read in part, “The local government Treasurer upon being authorised in writing by the serving local government Chairman of Andoni local government council shall pay out of council’s treasury the percentage of the statutory monthly allocation as stipulated in the second schedule for this by-law”.

The provisions and breakdown on the second schedule of the abolished pension law of the council indicated all former Chairmen of the council were entitled to 80 per cent of annual basic salary of the incumbent Chairman, while the Vice Chairmen were entitled to 50 per cent salary of incumbent Vice Chairman.

The abolished law further approved 50 per cent on accommodation and medical bills for former Chairmen and 30 per cent for the Vice Chairmen on accommodation and medical treatment within the country.

The council boss lauded the councillors for deeming it necessary to come up with a bill would assist check leakages and enable the council achieve its mandates by efficiently using available funds at its disposal.

He also noted he would continue to ensure that all serving political appointees in his administration received all their entitlements and benefits as stipulated by law, while urging them to support his pursuit of a better grassroots administration.

“Today, the bill seeking the prohibition of post-office remuneration for Chairmen and Vice Chairmen has been assented to, it will go a long way to relieve the council of the huge financial burden initiated by the provisions of by-law and also pave way for tangible development,’ the Chairman said.

In her response, Leader of the Andoni Assembly, Miss Sheila Nte, revealed the repeal of the pension by-law was a demonstration of selflessness, adding that it would serve as a relief from the huge financial burden orchestrated by the abolished by-law.

“You can imagine, the long list of Chairmen and Vice Chairmen who have served for just three years and are requesting for lifetime pension, when such funds could be channelled to infrastructural development.

“As councillors, we are committed to delivering on our mandates to our various wards, so we initiated this bill to strengthen the policy thrust of this administration and also enhance accountability in the third tier of government.