Controversy has trailed the proposed legislation seeking to extend the retirement age since it was first introduced.
The House of Representatives has passed for second reading, a bill seeking to increase the retirement age of National Assembly staff to 65 years or 40 years of service, whichever comes first.
The bill, which is sponsored by the Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Aliyu Madaki (NNPP, Kano) is titled: “A Bill For an Act to Make Provisions for the Retirement Age for Staff of National Assembly Service and for Related Matters.”
It would be recalled that the bill was introduced in three previous assemblies since the seventh (7th) assembly without any success.
Since the first time it was introduced, the bill has remained controversial as staff of the Commission say it is a ploy to stagnate their growth in the service.
In the 8th Assembly, the passage of the bill raised a lot of dust amongst legislative staff, who argued that a former Clerk of the National Assembly and other officials sought to use it to extend their tenure.
Again, the harmonised version of the bill resurfaced in the 9th House of Representatives on June 29th, 2021, by the then Majority Leader, Mohammed Monguno.
Leading debate on Tuesday, Rep. Aliyu Madaki (NNPP, stated that the bill seeks to make provision for a harmonized retirement age for staff of the National Assembly and make it independent.
“It proposes a retirement age of 65 years or 40 years of service, whichever comes first. This extension will help for the efficiency of work of the professionalised staff of the National Assembly.”
Supporting the bill, the Minority Whip, Rep Ali Isa (PDP, Gombe) said it will maintain the specialized experience of staff in the National Assembly.
According to him, “The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC has also called for this extension across the board, and it is already in practice in many parts of the world.”
On his part, Rep. Abdullahi Rasheed (PDP, Gombe), argued that the bill will boost the morale of the staff of the National Assembly and ensure they deliver on the complex nature of the services they render.
The bill was referred to the House Committee on Public Service Matters.