The federal executive council (FEC) has approved that the harmonised retirement age for teachers bill, 2021, be sent to the national assembly for enactment into law.
According to the bill, the retirement age for teachers will move from 60 to 65 years, while the years of service will increase from 35 to 40.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave the directive on Wednesday after the FEC meeting, presided over by him.
The president had, in October 2020, approved a new salary scale and increased the retirement age for teachers.
Addressing journalists after the FEC meeting, Adamu Adamu, minister of education, said the bill will give legal backing to the federal government’s plans to enhance the teaching profession in the country.
Adamu said some highlights of the bill include the introduction of bursary award, special rural posting allowances and other measures to attract the best brains to the profession.
The minister, who said the Buhari administration will do for teachers “what has never been done”, added that the bill is just the first step in the government’s plans for the education sector.
“This memo that was approved for education is a giant step towards what we set out to do towards the end of last year with the approval by Mr President of some special packages for teachers. So, at the meeting today, the council approved that bill which will be called harmonised retirement age for teachers in Nigeria bill, 2021 to be sent to the national assembly for enactment into law,” the minister said.
“So, all the promises the president made and all the approvals that he has given me will now begin to put into effect because this is a legal backing that is required for it.
“I want to assure teachers that this government will do for them what has never been done. This is the first biggest step.
“The intention is to attract the best brains to the teaching profession. For that, the president approved the reintroduction of bursary awards which I told you here last year — improving teacher quality and funding teaching practice.
“From TETFUND, he approved an enhanced entry point for teachers. Then, he approved that there should be some special allowances that will allow teachers to be posted to places you can consider ‘hardship postings’, roll posting allowance, science teacher allowance, and of course we have Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) under us that has professionalised the profession. Those are the highlights which you already know. But this is the biggest stage now. We are getting legal backing for all these things.
“The essence of the bill is to seek approval so that there is legal backing for the new retirement age of 65 years for teachers and the service period being extended to 40 years for teachers. This is the main issue, while all other issues are ancillary to it.”