The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the increase in the retirement age of teachers in the country from 60 to 65 years.
Already, a bill to that effect is being forwarded to the National Assembly for necessary legislative approval.
FEC at its first weekly meeting in 2021 presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, yesterday, also okayed N1.4 billion for the upgrading of electricity facilities at Calabar export free trade zone.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who made these known to journalists after the FEC meeting stated that FEC has approved the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers Bill 2021, which seeks to give legal backing to the current administration’s measure to enhance the teaching profession in the country.
According to him, the Executive Bill is to be sent to the National Assembly for its consideration and if passed by the lawmakers, the retirement age of teachers will move from 60 years to 65 while the years of service will now be 40 instead of the present 35.
The minister identified some highlights of the bill to include the introduction of bursary award, special rural posting allowances and other measures to attract the best brains to the profession.
Adamu described the memo approved for the education sector as a giant step.
“So, all the promises the president made and all the approvals that he has given me we will now begin to put into effect because this is a legal backing that is required for it,” he said, adding: “I want to assure teachers that this government will do to them what has never been done before. This is the first biggest step.”
He noted that the intention of the bill is to attract the best brains to the teaching profession.
“For that, the president approved the reintroduction of bursary awards which I told you here last year, improving teacher quality, and funding teaching practice,” he said.
Adamu said Buhari approved an enhanced entry point for teachers, explaining that there are now some special allowances for teachers on ‘hardship postings.’
Another allowance, he pointed out, is science teacher allowance, saying the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) under his ministry has professionalised the profession.
FEC also approved N1.4 billion for the upgrading of electricity facilities at the Calabar Free Trade Zone Area.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, told journalists that FEC approved the memo brought before it by one of the parastatals in his ministry.
FEC also approved a treaty tagged: “Plant Genetic Resource for Food and Agriculture” for the advancement and enhancement of the agricultural resource base.