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Benue lawmakers scrap lifetime pension for ex-governors, deputies

The lawmakers also approved a bill to prohibit the harassment and extortion of money from investors, developers, and businessmen, commonly called 'marching ground.

Hyacinth Alia [Facebook]

This law, which was initially passed and approved by former Governor Samuel Ortom in May 2023, has now been overturned.

Douglas Akya, the Chairman of the House standing Committee on Appointments, Public Service, and Pension Matters, representing Makurdi South Constituency, introduced the bill for repeal on Monday.

Akya justified the repeal by stating that the law did not serve the state's best interests, particularly given its limited financial resources, which were needed for more urgent priorities.

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Other lawmakers, such as Samuel Agada representing Ogbadibo Constituency, and Alfred Emberga of Makurdi North Constituency, have highlighted that given the limited resources of the state, it's imprudent to lavish funds on former governors and their deputies, especially when there are substantial infrastructure needs and debt obligations.

The passing of the bill by the Ortom administration had sparked public outcry, particularly from the opposition party, which later won the governorship election.

Upon assuming office, Governor Hyacinth Alia faced calls to revoke the law, but progress was slow, taking the lawmakers a year to repeal the pension law.

In another development, during Monday's session, legislators approved a bill to prohibit the harassment and extortion of money from investors, developers, and businessmen, commonly called 'marching ground.'

Elias Audu, Chairman of the House Standing Committee on Lands, Survey, and Solid Minerals, who led the debate, emphasised that once enacted, the law would curb the activities of individuals extorting land from developers and residents.

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