Senate steps down Bill to extend N/Assembly staff retirement age to 65yrs

Sharon EboesomiFebruary 17, 20243 min

The Senate had on Wednesday listed the controversial Bill which had passed a third reading in the House of Representatives for concurrence after it passed its first reading in the Senate some weeks ago. 

Drama as Senate Bill moves to Extend N/Assembly Staff Retirement Age To 65yrs

There was tension in the National Assembly, following plans by the Senate to give a concurrence to a controversial bill to extend the retirement age for civil servants in Parliament and across the 36 State Houses of Assembly

The bill which seeks to increase the retirement age from 60 years to 65 years or 40 years of service was later stepped down with Senate President Godswill Akpabio saying there was a need for further consultations.

The bill, if scaled through, would extend the service years of over 200 workers who are due to retire between 2024 and 2026 including the current clerk, Sani Magaji Tambawal, according to records from the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, the controversial bill during the 8th and 9th Assemblies suffered setbacks after various stakeholders opposed it, arguing that the extension of the retirement age from 60 to 65 years and 35 service years to 40 years would create redundancy and stagnancy among the workers.

The Bill was rejected in its entirety by the National Assembly staff, which is affiliated with the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), chaired by Bature Musa. 

READ ALSO: Controversial NASS retirement age bill resurfaces in Reps

The workers’ union said that the bill was rejected because the clerk had attempted to keep the management team and the National Assembly in office for an additional five years after their retirement from service was due.  

In a unanimous vote, the Union rejected the Bill, citing its conflict with the Federation’s Council of Establishment’s position that sets the retirement age at either 35 years of service or 60 years of age, whichever comes first.

The Union also contended that if the contentious Bill is approved, it will impede the advancement of its members’ careers and primarily benefit the management team, particularly the employees who are nearing retirement.  

Additionally, the Union said that the Bill’s approval goes against both the Federal Government’s policy on youth empowerment and development and the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Constitution. 

The Union pointed out that hiring Nigerian youths, some of whom have graduated for more than ten years without finding meaningful jobs, will not be granted employment if people who have served the country for 35 years or who are 60 years of age or older are kept on staff.

Consequently, the Union in a letter addressed to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives condemned the Bill and threatened industrial action if the lawmakers moved through with passing it.

Sharon Eboesomi

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