By Ismail Auwal
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 in the new Harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers Bill, 2021.
The bill seeks to give legal backing to new measures by the Buhari administration to enhance the teaching profession in the country.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the first Council meeting of the year, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday.
The minister said that some of the highlights of the Harmonized Retirement Age bill which has been forwarded to the National Assembly for consideration and approval include the introduction of bursary award, special rural posting allowances, science teachers’ allowance and other measures to boost the performance of the teachers and attract the best brains.
Adamu said the government decided to increase the years as a reward for teachers’ dedication to duty and also to attract more people to the profession “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.”
He added that “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, the enhanced entry point for teachers.’’ He said.