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Reps seek clarity on compulsory retirement of directors after 8yrs

The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the rationale behind government’s circular mandating compulsory retirements for directors who have spent eight years in office.

The circular was issued by the Office of Head of Service of the Federation in 2023.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by the Minority Whip, Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers) at plenary on Thursday in Abuja.

The motion was co-sponsored by Rep. Julius Ihonvbere (APC-Edo) and Rep. Ishaya Lalu (LP-Plateau).

Chinda, while moving the motion, said that the circular was dated July 27, 2023, with reference No. HCSF/SPO/268/T3/2/37 and was titled “The Revised Public Service Rules (PSR).”

He said that the circular, which was issued by the Head of Service, directed public servants to comply with the Public Service Rules, 2021, Section 8 (020810) (iv) (a).

According to him, the section stipulates compulsory retirement for directors after eight years, whether or not the director has reached the biological retirement age of 60 years or 35 years in service.

The lawmaker said that the clause in the circular is in direct conflicted with the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Act (2022).

“Teachers are public servants with some as directors in the Federal Ministry of Education; it is, therefore, counter-productive for directors to be compulsorily retired upon the expiration of eight years in office when they have not attained the retirement age of 65 or 40 years.

“Also, there is paucity of experienced, trained, youthful, intellectually sound and globally exposed public servants at grade level 17 as directors in the different Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that drive the civil service for productivity and service.

“Directors attained their positions through years of hard work, excellence, dedication and management skills development through local and international trainings using Nigerian resources.

“These cadres of directors having built capacity in relevant areas are now facing the threat of compulsory retirement from service upon the expiration of eight years in position as directors.

“This is robbing the nation of their years of experience, creativity, expertise, innovation, ingenuity and transformative ideas, which will negatively impact productivity in the public service and by extension, the economy,” he argued.

Chinda said that non-compliance with the provisions of Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Act 2022, which fixed retirement age for teachers at 65 years of age or attainments of 40 years in pensionable public service, might have dire consequences.

In his ruling, the Speaker, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas mandated the Committees on Public Service Matters and Legislative Compliance to carry out the investigation and report back to the house for further legislative actions. (NAN)

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