Reps Probe Compulsory Retirement Rule For Public Servants

By Nurat Uthman

The House of Representatives on Thursday, resolved to investigate Section 8 of the Reversed Public Service Rules (020810) on compulsory retirement of public servants who have attained eight years as directors in Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The resolution of the House followed the adoption of a motion co-sponsored by the leader of the House, Julius Ihonvbere, Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda and Hon Ishaya Lau at Thursday’s plenary.

The Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas who presided over the plenary consequently urged “The Head of Civil Service of the Federation to with immediate effect, issue a new notice or rejoinder to her previous notice of July 2023 by withdrawing the circular on the compulsory retirement of Directors upon serving for eight years.”

Leading the debate, Mr Chinda stated that a circular dated July, 27, 2023, with reference No. HCSF/SPO/268/T3/2/37, “The revised public service rules”, issued by the Head of Service, directing public servants to comply with the Public Service Rules, 2021, Section 8 (020810) (iv) (a) which stipulates compulsory retirement for directors after eight years, whether or not the director has reached the biological retirement age of 65 years or 40 years in service “Is in direct conflict with the Harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Act, 2022.”

While noting that teachers are public servants with some as Directors in the Federal Ministry of Education, Chinda said it will be counterproductive for Directors to be compulsorily retired upon the expiration of eight years in office as Directors when they have not attained the retirement age of 65 or 40 years.

He said, “There is a paucity of experienced, trained, youthful, intellectually sound and globally exposed public servants at grade level 17 as Directors in the different Ministries, Departments and Agencies that drive the civil service for productivity and service.

“The House is aware that Directors attained their positions through years of hard work, excellence, dedication, and management skills development through local and international trainings using Nigerian resources;

“These cadre of Directors having built capacity in relevant areas are now facing the threat of compulsory retirement from service upon the expiration of eight years in position as Directors when they have not attained the age of 60 years nor 35 years in public service, thereby robbing the nation of their years of experience, creativity, expertise, innovation, ingenuity and transformative ideas, which will negatively impact productivity in the public service and by extension, the economy.

“The non-compliance with the provisions of Harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Act, 2022, which provides for the retirement age for teachers as 65 years of age or attainments of 40 years in pensionable public service may have dire consequences.”

The House also mandated its Committee on Public Service Matters to ensure compliance.

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