House of Representatives has stepped down the report on the bill which seeks to extend the tenure of legislative staff from 35 years to 40 years and compulsory retirement from 60 years to 65 years, amidst public outcry against creation of a parallel bureaucracy in the public service of the federation.
The report which was circulated to members during the plenary, Clause 1 provides that: “The provisions of the bill shall apply throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Clause 2 provides that: “Staff of Legislative Houses in Nigeria shall compulsorily retire on attainment of 65 years of age or 40 years of pensionable service, whichever is earlier.”
Clause 3 of the report provides that: “Without prejudice to any Act of the National Assembly or law, or the Public Service Rules requiring a person to retire from the Public Service at 60 years of age or after 35 years of service shall not apply to Staff of Legislative Houses in Nigeria.”
Clause 4 provides that: “In this Act, ‘Legislative Houses’ means the National Assembly and States Houses of Assembly; while Public Service has the meaning ascribed to it under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.”
Clause 5 provides that: “This bill may be cited as the harmonized retirement age for Legislative Houses in Nigeria bill, 2022.”
Some members of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) who spoke under condition of anonymity, during a chat with parliamentary correspondents, applauded the decision of the House, stressing that the ploy to elongate the tenure of the staff would cause stagnation and redundancy in the bureaucracy.
They lamented that the National Assembly Service Commission (Establishment) Act as currently being implemented is in breach of the provisions of the legislation especially on the implementation of the Conditions of Service.
According to one of the PASAN members who also pleaded anonymity, “the Act which empowers the Commission to fix remunerations and Conditions of Service has been set aside as a result of greed and inability of the management to account for public funds allocated to it.”
The National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) during the 497th meeting held on Wednesday, 15th July, 2020 approved the retirement age of the staff of the National Assembly Service as 35 years of service or 60 years of age.
The commission had during the height of the crisis trailing the alleged tenure elongation and unilateral implementation of the controversial Conditions of Service while the leadership of National Assembly Service Commission was yet to be constituted, directed the erstwhile clerk for the National Assembly, Abubakar Sani-Omolori and other senior staff who have spent 35 years of service or 60 years of age with immediate effect.