Legal and Judicial Affairs

New Rivers Pension Bill Set For Public Hearing

The Rivers State House Assembly, yesterday, committed the new State Pension Reform Bill (HA23) 2019 to committee stage.

With this, in the next two weeks, experts, opinion leaders and stakeholders are expected to make contribution to the bill before it goes back to plenary for further debate in the House.

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-OwajiIbani, who relied on Order 5 of the House, directed the Committee on SSG/HOS and Pension to convene a public hearing within 14 days.

Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Martin Amaewhule, who set the stage for the debate, yesterday, passed a motion for second reading as he listed the benefits of the new law to the state and retirees.

He recalled that the review was due to shortcomings from previous laws which made it difficult for retirees to access their contributions.

According to Amaewhule, problems with the law started in 2009 when the state approved to join the new pension scheme with a law in 2012.

While the state adopted the law in 2012, the erstwhile administration failed to live up to its obligations by paying its own share of the contribution.

He explained that by 2015 when a new PENCOM Law was passed and with a new administration, the situation made it difficult for the retirees to access their monies.

The majority leader said the new law would eliminate all those and consolidate, review, and at the same time, inject efficiency in pension administration and management in the state.

It would be recalled that, last Tuesday, the Executive Bill passed first reading after the speaker had a read the letter conveying the bill to the House.

Ibani said it was in consonance with the promise of the Assembly to the senior citizens who protested to the House, last year that efforts would be made to address their plight.

The bill, if passed into law, would remove setbacks caused by the Contributory Pension Scheme the state adopted in 2012, which has made it impossible for retirees to access their payments due to shortcomings by the parties.

Source: The Tide Newspaper Coporation