Laleye Dipo in Minna
In line with the existing policy of the Federal Government, the Niger State government on Saturday said it had approved 65 years as retirement age for academic staff in tertiary institutions owned by the state.
The government policy statement was contained in a speech at the 27th combined convocation ceremony of the State College of Education by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello on Saturday.
The state branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers had during the last Teachers’ Day included as its demands the increase from 60 to 65 years the retirement age for academic staff in tertiary institutions owned by the state.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, who last month began the implementation of 25 percent salary increase for certain categories of civil servants, said in the speech that the new retirement age would “retain highly skilled professionals in the teaching profession.
“We also approved 65 years as retirement age for academic staff in tertiary institutions of the state. This is in our efforts to retain highly skilled and experienced professionals in the staffing structure and to have experienced staff who will monitor the younger ones
“An executive bill to this effect has been sent to the state House of Assembly. I have no doubt that the bill will soon be passed into law” the governor said.
Governor Sani Bello said government was aware of the shortage of academic staff and infrastructure in the college saying that “we are working to ensure that these issues are quickly addressed”.
He also disclosed that to encourage students to take up teaching “we have approved full scholarship to students who choose to further education in teaching”.
The Provost of the college, Professor Muhammad Yakubu Auna, said since assumption of office a year ago, the institution had completed the 2013/2014 TETFUND intervention projects some of which included a new science block, five offices for heads of departments, new female hostel and a new language laboratory.
Over 15,333 students graduated from the college at the event.