A new bill to increase the retirement age of teachers across the country was on Wednesday approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The bill seeks to increase the retirement age of teachers from 60 to 65 years and also increase the possible years of service from 35 to 40 years.
The bill will now be sent to the parliament for the proper legislative process before it can become law, the education minister, Adamu Adamu, told journalists in Abuja after the FEC meeting.
The ‘Harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill 2020’ , seeks to give legal backing to new measures by the Muhammadu Buhari administration to enhance teaching in the country.
“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,” Mr Adamu said.
“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.”
Apart from increasing the retirement age and years of service, the bill also seeks to introduce bursary award, special rural posting allowances and other items that will encourage brilliant Nigerians to take to teaching.
“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 form TETFUND, enhanced entry point for teachers. The president also approved that there should be some special allowances, like rural posting allowance and science teachers’ allowance,” the minister said.