BusinessDay

Reps push bill to raise retirement age of persons with disabilities

...adjourn plenary by two weeks for Sallah

The House of Representatives has passed through second reading a bill to amend the discrimination against Persons with Disability (Prohibition) Act, 2018 for upward review of their retirement age 65 to 70 years or 40 years of service.

Sponsored by Babajimi Benson (APC, Lagos), the bill seeks to amend the Principal Act which provides for measures to protect and ensure the inclusion of PLWD in Nigeria.

Leading debate on the proposed legislation, Benson said the amendment intends to address some salient defects noticed in the Principal Act by amending Sections 30 and 32 of the Principal Act and rearranging Sections 30-58 as Sections 30-59.

The amendment, he said, would include the insertion of a subsection 30 (1) which provides for an increase in the retirement age and term of service from 65 to 70 years or 40 years of service, whichever comes first.

The second amendment seeks to ensure that the chairman of the National Commission for Persons Living with Disability is someone also living with a disability and has the requisite qualifications for that position.

Read also: Stallion Times Media Service trains 40 journalists on disability reporting in Kogi

Benson said, “the rationale for this amendment is to further ensure that persons living with disability are fairly treated to ensure equity and justice. Originally, employment rates for persons with disabilities are substantially lower than the rates for persons without disabilities in Nigeria. Persons with disabilities have lower earnings and are sometimes in low-skilled, part-time, and informal job settings with subminimum wages.

“They also face social stigma and prejudice and obstacles to moving around their own communities and city spaces. This leads to poverty and dejection especially when they retire early.

“This amendment will give them more opportunities, not only to fully give their services to the country but to also benefit more from the government and live a reasonable life after retirement. As a peoples’ parliament, the passage of this bill will further demonstrate our commitment to equity and fairness for all Nigerians.”

Meanwhile, the House has adjourned plenary to July 19 to enable the lawmakers partake in this year’s Id-el-Kabir festivity.

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