By Ismaila Chafe
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved an increase in the retirement age of teachers across the country from 60 to 65 years or 40 years in service as against 35.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu revealed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to him, the new retirement age for teachers is now 65 years or 40 years of service.
He said the Federal Executive Council also approved that bill to be known as ‘Harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill 2020’ be sent to the National Assembly to give legal backing to the approval.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that prior to this development, the retirement age of teachers in the country was 60 years or 35 years in service.
The minister said government decided to increase the years as a reward for teachers’ dedication to duty and also to attract more people to the profession.
He said: “This memo that was approved for the Ministry of Education is a giant step towards what we set out to do last year, with the approval of some special packages for teachers by the President.
“So, at the meeting today, Council approved that a bill which will be called harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill 2020 be sent to the National Assembly for enactment into law so that all the promises made by the president and all the approvals he had given to me will now begin to be put into effect because this is the legal backing that is required for it.
“The essence of the bill actually is to give legal backing for the approval of a new retirement age of 65 for teachers and then the service period being extended to 40 years.
“The intention is to attract the best brains to the teaching profession and for that, the president approved the reintroduction of bursary awards, improving teacher quality, funding teaching practice from TETFUND, enhanced entry point for teachers.”
Adamu announced that the president also approved that there should be some special allowances, like rural posting allowance and science teachers’ allowance to boost teacher education in the country.
Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, who also spoke on the outcome of the meeting, said the Council approved N1.4 billion for the upgrading of electricity facilities at the Calabar Free Trade Zone Area.
He said: “On behalf of one of our parastatals, the Nigeria Exports Processing Zones Authority, we brought a memo for the award of contract for the upgrade of the electricity component in the Calabar Free Trade Zone Area.
“The contracts were initially awarded in 2018 to upgrade the electrical facility in the Area but it was not completed so we brought a memo today and council approved the sum of N1,000,484, 000 for the completion of electrical upgrading at the Calabar Free Trade Zone Area.”
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, also disclosed that the Council ratified Nigeria’s membership of the global treaty on the Genetic Resource for Food and Agriculture.
According to him, this will enhance the capacity of agricultural scientists and agricultural production in the country.
He said: “This memo which was approved today was a treaty on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
“The import of this treaty is for the advancement and enhancement of the agricultural resource base of the 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 a full-fledged member of this treaty and it will enhance training and research of our agricultural scientists and so on and so forth.
“In short, the entire treaty is meant to boost agricultural production in the country as it affects other countries, 167 of them.” (NAN)