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Senate Approves Bill To Extend Retirement Age Of National Assembly Staff

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The Senate just two weeks after the bill for extension of service for employees of the National Assembly from 60 to 65 years was rejected at the plenary; the bill has finally being Okayed by the lawmakers. The bill, which was first passed at the lower House, was transmitted for concurrence by the Senate at plenary today, thursday, after it was earlier rejected on February 22 by same lawmakers. The proposal, titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to make provision for retirement age of staff of National Assembly Service and For Other related Matters’, was re-introduced for concurrence by Senate Leader, Bamidele Opeyemi, (APC, Ekiti). 

Opeyemi, while arguing on the bill insisted that, corrections had been made on the bill with proper and more extensive inputs in the various clauses that will benefit the staff of the National Assembly. 

According to him, the bill was in line with international global practices, including the proper definition of who a legislative officer in most civilised and more advanced democracies, with special regards to the United States and the United Kingdom system. 

He said “These countries had adopted the standard we want to adopt, in terms of need to establish and strengthen institutional memories by ensuring a certain retirement age threshold for legislative officials”. 

Opeyemi insisted that he had done a lead debate and hence, urged on his colleagues to okay the bill for concurrence. 

Recall vigil360 had earlier reports that the bill, which is in the interest of the current Clerk of the National Assembly, Sani Tambuwal, who was billed to retire this year and wished to extend his stay in office, was initially rejected and stepped down after a heated debate on February 22. 

Most Senators initially opposed the bill during the debate on February 22, with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe wondering how staff of the National Assembly who were employed by the National Assembly Service Commission, NASC, are different from staff in other agencies and ministries of government to warrant the elongation of their years of service. 

According to Senator Abaribe, there were no bases for such illegality coming from the lawmakers to warrant bill that is not a professionally based would be Okayed by the red chamber especially the 10th Assembly. 

Similarly, Senator Ali Ndume, APC Borno South throw his weight behind Abaribe saying, posterity will judge the 10th Assembly for compromising morality at the Hallowed Chamber for some few individual interest masked in a bill to perpetrate illegality.