By: Afolabi Oyekunle.
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has reiterated call for upward review of retirement age for employees in the core civil service.
This is just as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and President Bola Tinubu are set to deliberate more on the retirement age extension to 65 years for civil servants.
Labour had demanded that the age of retirement and length of service in the entire public service, including the civil service, should be reviewed upward to 65 years of age and 40 years of service.
The civil servants, the ASCSN said, consist of line ministries and extra-ministerial departments/agencies, which the body noted, are an integral part of the enlarged public service.
A statement by Secretary-General of ASCSN, Joshua Apebo said the union had been canvassing upward review of the retirement age for employees in the core civil service since 2015.
He urged the trade union movement to join the train and ensure uniformity in retirement age in the public service, including the core civil service.
Apebo recalled that in 2015, the association presented a memorandum to the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC), the organ responsible for negotiation of terms and conditions of service of workers in the public service, and demanded for increase in the retirement age in the core civil service from 60 years of age or 35 years of service, whichever was earlier to 65 years of age or 40 years of service.
He said the union’s argument then, which is still valid today, was that due to improvement in healthcare delivery, people are now stronger, healthier and more articulate between the ages of 40 and 70 years.
The scribe noted that the union also stressed then that most of the organisations attached to the United Nations and a good number of countries have increased civil servants’ retirement age to 65 years.
He said when the Federal Government approved 65 years of retirement age or 40 years of service for teachers, the association intensified its campaign that education officers in the Federal Ministry of Education, including those in Federal Government Colleges, should be integrated into policy.
Apebo argued that since judicial officers, university lectures and teachers, among others are now enjoying the new retirement age regime, it was only fair that the new policy should also apply to core civil servants.
He listed foreign organisations such as International Labour Organisation (ILO), World Health Organisation (WHO), European Patent Office (EPO), Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Bank for International Settlements, among others that have also increased retirement age to 65 years, while retirement age in NATO is 67 years.