• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Why I repealed pension law for governors, deputies – Otti

Governance: Accolades for Governor Alex Otti

Governor Alex Otti has explained that the repealing of the Governors and Deputy Governors pension law was not targeted at anybody.

He said that the step was aimed at reducing the cost of governance.

Otti stated this at the Government House, Umuahia during a special presentation of the outcome of the report of a two-day retreat on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for stakeholders drawn from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the State Government.

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Otti charged participants at the retreat to craft an enduring strategy that would lead to improvement in the state’s IGR with a view to making the state fiscally viable.

He also said that he expected a situation where the state’s IGR would spike and take over provisions for loans to finance the 2024 budget.

“If we do what we should do and we do them right, then there is no reason why the over N400 billion that is supposed to be raised as loans should not reduce to the barest minimum.
So, we expect a situation and a scenario where Internally Generated Revenue would spike and take over our provisions for loans. So, in simple English, what I am saying is that we believe that by the end of the year, we will not borrow as much money that we had put in the budget,” Otti said.

He noted that elsewhere, government generates income to undertake expenditure, describing as a misnomer, a situation where subnationals go to the centre cap-in-hands for allocation.
He expressed hope that if the right thing was done, by the end of the year, the state should not have borrowed as much as it puts in the budget.

On the repealing of the pension law for governors and their deputies, Otti said: “So, when you saw that we put through our resolve to cut cost of governance by stopping frivolous payments to people who have left government (former Governors and their Deputies), it is because we just believe that the right thing should be done. Very soon we will also be former governors. So, the policy is not targeted at anyone; it’s targeted at good governance; it’s targeted at reduction in the cost of governance. And quite frankly, we believe it is the right thing to do.

“We don’t believe that politics is a business. We believe that people should have things they are doing before coming to serve. And if you have offered yourself to serve, then you should be willing to make the required sacrifices.

” If you find yourself in this place, you should count yourself lucky that people believe in you, gave you their support and their votes, it is a privilege and the least that is expected of you is to make sacrifices for the betterment of the state. So, the days of sharing money are over; the days of blood tonic politics are also over. This is the time to make sacrifices for the interest of the State.”

Mike Akpata, the state commissioner for Finance in his speech, said there was need to change the narrative, adding that government must do things differently through the generation of enormous IGR.

He explained that the government would not tax people unduly but noted that all taxes would be based on things government promised the people and called for all hands to be on deck to generate enough revenue for the state.

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“If we want to reduce our debt burden, we must do something differently. We will not continue to do what we’ve been doing before and expect a different result. And what are we going to do? We are going to generate quantum of Internally Generated Revenue, and that is the way to go to make our job a little bit easier and we will be in a position to deliver the dividends of democracy which we promised the people,” Akpata said.