Education Politics

Buhari’s harmonised teachers retirement age, upscales teaching to premium career option- BMO

2023: Buhari directs public office holders with political ambition to resign
Written by Maritime First

… As ASUU insists on implementation of renegotiated 2009 agreement***

The signing of the Teachers’ Harmonised Retirement Age Act by President Muhammadu Buhari has been described by the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) as a very bold move by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to reposition the teaching profession and restore its former glory.

President Muhammadu Buhari had last Friday assented to the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Act, 2022. The bill was one of the four landmark bills recently passed by the National Assembly.

The Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Act provides for the retirement age of teachers in the country at 65.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, BMO noted that the signing of the bill into law is a landmark development considering the benefits that will accrue to the educational system in the country even as it will confer respect and prestige on the teaching profession after being utterly neglected over the years.

The group stated that Section 3 of the Act which provided that the Public Service Rule or any other legislation that requires a person to retire from the Public Service at 60 years of age or after 35 years of service shall not apply to teachers, is not only a good incentive that will help them to give their best to society but, actually, classified teaching as a premium service in the country’s public service.

The group also acknowledged the many benefits contained in the act which will serve as incentives for teachers.

Part of the Act provided for students in the education sector to earn special bursary allowances while in school and during obligatory teaching practice.

Education graduates will also enjoy enhanced entry-level salaries in the civil service while special allowances are to be earned by teachers posted to rural areas.

The Act also provided for Special Teachers Pension Scheme to be established among other benefits and incentives, all with the objective of professionalising the teaching profession.

Impressed by the boutique of incentives contained in the Act which was conceived and initiated as an executive bill in January 2021 by the Federal Executive Council, the BMO commended President Buhari for his determination to restore the important roles of teachers in national development and the educational development of the country particularly.

In the meantime, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Abuja zone says there will be no resumption in public universities until renegotiated 2009 agreement is signed, implemented and the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) deployed.

The ASUU Zonal Coordinator, Dr Salawu Muhammed Lawal, made this known during a press conference at the University of Abuja in Gwagwalada on Monday.

According to him, the members are ever ready to return to their duty post as soon as their demands are met by the Federal Government.

ASUU, Abuja Zone at a news conference
ASUU

The newsmen report that the zone comprises the Federal University of Lafia, Federal University of Technology Minna, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, and the University of Abuja.

“You would recall that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) declared a four week rolling strike at the University of Lagos National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on Feb. 14.

“Owing to the failure of the Federal Government to act within that period, the national action was rolled over for another eight weeks following the resolution taken at an emergency NEC meeting at the Festus Iyayi National Secretariat on March 14.

“The action as you are probably aware is to among other things, compel the Federal Government to sign and implement the draft renegotiated 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement submitted to it by the Prof. Munzali Committee since May 2021.

“Deploy for use in the Nigerian university system, was the home-grown payment and personnel solution called UTAS developed by ASUU as a replacement for the failed IPPIS.

“As usual, the Federal Government has ignored ASUU’s call for full implementation of that famous agreement and other memoranda signed with the union.

“No meeting has been held between the two parties since the commencement of the ongoing strike.

The only exception is our union’s re-submission of UTAS for a retest.

“The summary is that unless and until the renegotiated 2009 agreement is signed and implemented and UTAS deployed, there will be no work in public universities,” he said.

 

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Maritime First