Finally, Buhari sends bill seeking teachers’ retirement age extension

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday sent an executive bill to the Senate, seeking to increase the retirement age for teachers in the country from 60 to 65 years.

The bill also seeks to extend the years of service for teachers from 35 to 40 years.

Buhari, in the letter addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, explained that the piece of legislation would provide for harmonised retirement age for teachers in Nigeria.

The letter read in part, “Transmission of the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill 2021 to the National Assembly for consideration

“Pursuant to Section 58 subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I forward herewith the harmonised retirement age for teachers in Nigeria Bill, 2021 for consideration by the Senate.

“The harmonised retirement age for teachers in Nigeria bill 2021 seeks to increase the retirement age for teachers from 60 to 65 years, and also increase the possible years of service from 35 to 40 years.

“While appreciating your usual expeditious consideration of this submission, please, accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

Senate passes bill to end HND/degree discrepancy

Meanwhile, the Senate on Wednesday passed a bill seeking to abolish the dichotomy between the Higher National Diploma certificate and the university degree holders in the country.

The bill sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure,  passed third reading on the floor of senate.

The passage of the bill followed the consideration of a report by the Joint Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters; and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.

The legislation provides a one year jail term for anyone who refused to comply with the provisions of the law after it had been signed to law.

Chairman of the Joint Committee, Ibrahim Shekarau said, “The enactment of the bill to abolish and prohibit discrimination between First Degree and HND for the purpose of employment in Nigeria  will free holders of HND from stagnation and ensure balanced treatment with their counterparts from other higher tertiary institutions in Nigeria.”

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He added that the abolishing the existing dichotomy between HND holders and graduates of universities would meet the huge manpower needs of Nigerians and ensure social justice and enhanced corporate governance.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the bill would serve as motivation for polytechnic graduates.

Lawan said, “I pray that the Federal Government and all those government agencies and the private sector would start to implement it by the time the President assents to this bill (into law).”

Senators seeks creation of 109 colleges of education

Also on Wednesday, Senators Ali Ndume and Biodun Olujimi, canvassed the establishment of a college of education in each of the 109 senatorial district in Nigeria.

The lawmakers who spoke at the public hearing on the establishment of colleges of education in Gwoza, Borno State, and Omuo in Ekiti State, urged the Federal Government to set aside N109bn for the purpose.

Ndume said, “If the Federal Government decide to do so, it is doable because we have 109 senatorial districts in the whole country and by my estimate, an investment like N1bn per annum can take care of a modest tertiary institution

“If we are to establish one Federal College of Education in each senatorial district and it will cost N1bn to run it every year, that means about either N109bn or N110bn allocated to that is doable.”

On the choice of Gwoza, currently being terrorised by Boko Haram, Ndume said, “The fact that some charlatans and criminals are saying book is haram (bad) and established a caliphate in Gwoza, is one reason enough to put a College of Education in Gwoza, to tell them that boko is not haram, boko is needed.

Olujimi agreed with Ndume on the need to have a Federal College of Education in each of the Senatorial districts of the country.

She said having one in her senatorial district, Ekiti South will apart from making the presence of the Federal government to be felt; will create a fair balance of the share and distribution of tertiary institutions in the State.

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