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Parliamentary staff: Bill to extend retirement age will strengthen legislative service

Parliamentary staff: Bill to extend retirement age will strengthen legislative service
March 01
08:53 2024

The Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) has backed a bill seeking to increase the retirement age of civil servants working in the national assembly.

The bill, which has been passed by the senate and house of representatives, proposes an extension of the retirement age of national assembly staff to 65 years or 40 years of service, whichever comes first.

The existing law prescribes 60 years of age or 35 years of service for retirement.

Senators were split on the proposed legislation last week, leading to the rejection of the bill.

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The critics of the bill said special treatment should not be accorded national assembly staff.

Enyinnaya Abaribe, senator representing Abia south, said there is no difference between a civil servant in the national assembly and one in a federal ministry.

However, the bill was reconsidered and passed on Thursday.

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In a statement issued on Thursday, Sunday Sabiyi, PASAN chairman, said “there is a dearth of qualified staff in the legislative arm of government”.

The association said “few trained officers are also caught up with the public service rules, thereby creating a vacuum and shortage of qualified manpower in the legislative service”.

“Hence, the need to increase the retirement age as proposed in the bill to fill the vacuum and maximize the knowledge and experience acquired by the few staff and build the capacity of the young staff of the national assembly service in Nigeria,” the statement reads.

“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 in conformity with international best practices as an arm of government, as similar legislation is provided by other arms of government.”

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PASAN said the bill should be passed into law for the “stabilisation and development of capacity in the national assembly service, for the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria”.

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