As the controversy over the new Pension Act for former governors in Edo State rages, Speaker of the state Assembly, Justin Okonoboh, yesterday said the Edo State Pension Bill recently amended by the House is meant for only governors and deputy governors that completed their terms.
Speaking at a meeting in Benin City with members of state civil society groups, who were at the House to interface on the controversies generated by the Bill, Okonoboh explained that the law was an existing document that had only the housing aspect amended to benefit a governor and deputy governor who served the state meritoriously.
He said the law has no time bound, but a backing or framework for the executive whenever they find it expedient to implement.The Speaker observed that if the executive decides to implement the law, the proposal would return to the House in the budget, which it might accept, approve or turn down.
Spokesman of the groups, Abraham Oviawe, asserted that the law was not in conformity with social change, adding that its passage was hurriedly done to favour a few at a time when civil pensioners were being owed backlog of salary/allowances arrears and called for another amendment for its reversal.
Other members of the groups, who expressed misgivings on the passage of the law, urged Governor Godwin Obaseki not to assent to it.
They also called on the House to create department that would constantly interface with civil society on issues of public interest to avoid friction in the interest of the state.