Senate Approves New Retirement Age For University Dons
A bill which seeks to increase the retirement age of professors in Nigerian universities to 70 years scaled third reading in the Senate on Wednesday. The Senate also upped the pensionable age of other academic staff and non-academic staff of universities to 65 years.
Universities lecturers and non-academic staff in the universities have been on strike since last year partly because of their demand for the Federal Government to increase the retirement age of professors to 70 years.
The Bill also provides that registrars, librarians and bursars of tertiary institutions shall hold office for five years and an extension of one year if the need arises.
According to the Senate President, David Mark, with the passage of the Bill which is essentially to fulfil the demand of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), it is expected that the lecturers would call off their strike and return to the class rooms.
He said: “We have passed the Bill into law to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). There is the need to get ASUU back to the classrooms so that our children can go back to their classes.
“There are serious constitutional issues to be addressed and we have to pursue them, and unless we do that, we may be confronted with problems in the future and that is why we have to take cognizance of Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution.”
Chairman Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, in his lead debate explained the Bill for an Act to harmonize the retirement age of Academic Staff of Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education which he sponsored and the Executive Bill for an Act to harmonize the retirement age of Academic Staff of Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
He said that the Bill was read for the first time in the Senate on December 8, 2011.
He added that the Bills after being read for the second time on December 14, 2011 were referred to his committee for harmonization and further legislative inputs.