The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a bill to be forwarded to the National Assembly. The bill seeks to extend the retirement age for teachers in the country from 60 years to 65 years.
FEC, during its inaugural meeting of the year 2021, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, approved the bill ‘Harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers Bill, 2021,’ to be sent to the National Assembly for consideration and possible approval.’
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, disclosed this at the end of the council meeting which held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said some highlights of the bill includes the introduction of bursary awards, special rural posting allowances, and other measures to attract the best brains to the profession.
When the bill is passed by the lawmakers, the retirement age of teachers will move from 60 years to 65 while the years of service will also move from 35 to 40.
The bill also seeks to give legal backing to new measures by the current administration to enhance the teaching profession in the country.
“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 Harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill, 2021 to be sent to the National Assembly for enactment into law. So, all the promises the President made and all the approvals that he has given me will now begin to be put into effect because this is a legal backing that is required for it.
“I want to assure teachers that this government will do to 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, now 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’, rural posting allowance, science teacher allowance, and of course we have Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) under us that has professionalized 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,” he said.
Meanwhile, prior to the closed-door session of the meeting, the President inaugurated three members of the Code of Conduct Bureau and a member of the Police Service Commission.
They are Ehiozuwa Ogbonayinma, Babatunde Balogun and Benedict Umeano for the CCB and Onyemuche Nnamani of the PSC.
Members also observed a minute silence in honour of two former ministers, Jubril Martins-Kuye and Bala Kaoje, who died recently.
In a related development, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said FEC has approved a N1.484 billion contract for the upgrade of the electricity component of the Calabar Free Trade Zone Area in Cross River State.
Adebayo explained that the contract was initially awarded in 2018, adding that the contract would see to the completion of the free trade zone project.
“Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo. We brought a memo for the award of contract for the upgrade of the electricity component of the Calabar Free Trade Zone Area.
“The contract was initially awarded in 2018 to upgrade the electrical facility in the free trade zone area and it was not completed. So, we brought a memo and Council approved the sum of N1.484 billion for the Completion of the Calabar Free Trade Zone Area,” he said.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, said the FEC approved a treaty on “Plant Genetic Resource for Food and Agriculture.”
Nanono said the import of the treaty is for the advancement and enhancement of agricultural resource base of member countries.
“Nigeria has signed the treaty for a long time, but it is only today that the FEC approved the ratification. We will now become full member of this treaty and it will enhance training and research of our agricultural scientists, among others.
“In short, the entire treaty is meant to boost agricultural production in the country as it affects other countries, 167 of them,” he said.