The House of Representatives has passed a bill seeking to extend the retirement age of members of staff of the National Assembly.
The bill, which was passed on Tuesday, scaled through Second Reading on the floor of the House.
The bill was sponsored by the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Aliyu Sani Madaki.
During the 8th and 9th Assemblies, the bill suffered major setbacks following a series of opposition from various stakeholders who argued 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.
However, in his lead debate on Tuesday, Madaki explained that the bill seeks to make provision for a harmonized retirement age for staff of the National Assembly and make it independent.
The proposed legislation also proposed a retirement age of 65 years or 40 years of service, whichever comes first.
He stated that this extension will help for the efficiency of work of the professionalized staff of the National Assembly.
On his part, Hon. Ali Isa, who supported the bill, stated that it will maintain the specialised experience of staff in the National Assembly.
He stated that the Nigeria Labour Congress has also called for this extension across the board which is already in practice in many parts of the world.
Also speaking, Hon. Abdullahi Rasheed argued that when passed into law, the bill will boost the morale of the staff of the National Assembly and ensure they deliver on the complex nature of the services they render.
After the debate, the bill was referred to the House Committee on Public Service Matters for further legislative action.
Recall that the Chairman of National Assembly Service Commission, Engineer Ahmed Amshi, had in the wake of the controversy trailing the purported plan by the erstwhile Clerk for the National Assembly, Sani Omolori, to unilaterally enforce a new condition of service, directed that status quo on the 35 years and 60 years of age whichever comes first should be maintained.
According to the memo dated 15th July 2020 titled: ‘The National Assembly Service Commission approves the retirement age for the staff of the National Assembly Service as 35 years of service and 60 years of age whichever comes first.”
In pursuant to its mandate as provided in the National Assembly Service Act, 2014 (as amended), the National Assembly Service Commission at its 497th meeting held on Wednesday, 15th July, 2020, approved the retirement age of the staff of the National Assembly Service as 35 years of service or 60 years of age whichever comes first.