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Senate makes U-turn, agrees to extend retirement age of n’assembly staff

The senate has agreed to extend the retirement age of civil servants working in the national assembly.

The development comes a week after the upper legislative chamber threw out a bill on the subject. However, it concurred with the house on Thursday.

The bill, which has been passed by the house of representatives, is seeking to increase the retirement age 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.

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Last week, some of the senators kicked against the bill, saying that special treatment should not be given to national assembly staff.

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

“I have also looked at the retirement age for university lecturers and judicial officials which we passed about the same time,” Abaribe said.

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“Coming down to the officers of the national assembly, I asked a simple question; What is the difference between the person who is a finance director in the national assembly and that in the ministry of finance?

“I do not see what separates the person who works inside here as a staff of the national assembly from the person who works in the ministry of commerce as a staff.

“We must not allow somebody to stay here beyond the rules of public service of Nigeria on retirement year.”

The senate has set up a committee to harmonise its bill with that of the lower legislative chamber.

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