• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Oshiomhole abolishes 35-year retirement policy for Edo workers


Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has abolished the 35-year retirement policy for workers in Edo State as the state workers are now to retire at the age of sixty regardless of whether they have put in 35 years in the state civil service.

Delivering the independence anniversary gift to the workers at a meeting with labour leaders at Government House, on Thursday, Oshiomhole described the compulsory 35 years as obnoxious.

According to him, “Our own anniversary gift to workers of Edo State, especially those in the public service, has to do with the issue of pension. Over the years, while I was in the NLC, I had wondered why we have a policy in the public sector which is unique to the public sector in which we appear to punish experience. We are compelled to retire because you have put in X number of years.

“Having taken the pains to clean up our records and carry out appropriate biometrics of our public servants and made corrections where errors were discovered, I believe that about 90 to 95% of our records as regards to age can now be said to be correct.

“That being so, there is no reason for us to continue to use our obnoxious policy of 35 years as a basis to determine one’s years of service in the public service. Therefore, government has decided to abolish this policy and uphold only that aspect of retirement that has to do with age.

“So in Edo State with effect from today, I will effect an executive order to abolish the federal circular which imposes 35 years as a condition for retirement. Henceforth, Edo State public servants shall retire only when they have attained the age of 60. However, if any public official chooses to retire earlier, that will be seen as a voluntary retirement and will be accordingly allowed to retire”, he said.

He said, “In other climes, number of years of experience is something to be rewarded. It is not a basis for termination or forced retirement but I do understand that some other aspects of our national life, we have evolved policies on seeking the easiest escape route to a complex problem because government could not cope with the issues of falsification of age, people swearing to false affidavit, I think over the period, government appeared to have resolved the issue by compelling everybody to retire once there is evidence that you have put in 35 years.

“We have reflected on all this. This year, I have seen a lot of young people, still strong and hardworking, and we have lost them because they had to retire because they have put in 35 years even when they were not 60 years old. I have seen some people retire at the age of 55, some even at the age of 44 because they started working at the age of 20.

“Consistent with our commitment to reforms, and interrogating every public policy that we inherited, I am convinced that this policy is no longer in the interest of the people of Edo State and certainly not in the interest of workers and employees in the public service.

“It is my hope comrades that with this policy, we recognise that whatever we are trying to do has a purpose and ultimately there is only one thing that is important to us, ensuring that in all that we do, we keep our eyes on the ball and taking Edo to the next level by ensuring we get value for our money.”

Appreciating the governor for this gesture, the chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council, Shaka Otoide, and the chairman of the state branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Emmanuel Ademokun, thanked the governor for the gesture, adding that this has brought another innovation to the service and the entire Edo State workers.

According to Ademokun, “The Comrade Governor is the only state governor in Nigeria that has given Level 17 to workers. He was also the first to implement the new minimum wage. Now he has again shown that he is the best worker-friendly governor in the country by abolishing the 35 year retirement policy.

“On behalf of the entire public sector, we assure you that we are not going to let you down and by the grace of God, we are going to live up to expectation to ensure that this gesture you have given us, the state will not regret it”.