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National Assembly workers demand extension of retirement age

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Workers at the National Assembly want their retirement extended to 65 years of age or 40 years of service.

Retirement age in the federal civil service is 60 years or 35 years in service, whichever comes first.

Mr Sunday Sabiyi, chairman of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, the National Assembly workers umbrella body, urged the Senate on Thursday in Abuja to pass the workers’ demand into law.

He stated that the extension of number of service years or retirement age was expedient as there was a dearth of qualified staff in the Legislature resulting from interruption of democracy by Nigeria’s military.

“The Legislature, which has always been the victim in the event of military takeover of government, has been affected by instability in the career progression of its workers,’’ he added.

Sabiyi explained that the number of trained officers in the Legislature had been further depleted by the Public Service Rule of 60 years of age or 35 years of service.

This, he also explained, had created a vacuum and a shortage of qualified manpower in the legislative service.

He stressed that there was a need to extend National Assembly workers’ retirement age as proposed in a bill before the National Assembly to maximise the knowledge and experience of the few trained staff.

Sabiyi stated that the extension of the retirement age would also build the capacity of young employees of the National Assembly Service.

“Considering the importance of legislative service as a specialised service globally, the passage of the bill into law will strengthen the legislature and bring it into conformity with international best practices,’’ he stressed.

He urged the Senate to rightly exercise its legislative powers by passing the harmonised retirement age for staff of National Assembly Service in Nigeria Bill into law.

This, according to him, is for the stabilisation and development of capacity at the National Assembly service for the sustenance of democracy.

Sabiyi added that it was also for fairness at the various arms of government, in line with the doctrine of separation of powers.

The 8th Assembly, by resolution, passed the National Assembly Service Staff Regulations 2019, extending the retirement age for staff to 65 years of age or 40 years of service.

The harmonised retirement age for staff of both legislative houses was later introduced by the 9th House of Representatives but was not passed.

(NAN)

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