The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a range of new goodies, including 65 years as the retirement age for teachers.
The others, which form part of the incentives announced by President Muhammadu Buhari during last year’s Teachers Day celebration are “hardship postings, rural posting allowance, and science teacher allowance.”
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday after FEC’s meeting presided over by Buhari in Abuja.
Adamu, who was in the company with two other ministers during the briefing disclosed that a bill titled ‘Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill (2021)’, would soon be transmitted to the National Assembly to give legal teeth to the incentives.
He explained that the goal of the special packages was to attract the best brains to the teaching profession..
Describing the approval as a giant step in the ministry’s reform efforts, the minister said the proposed law would also make the service period of teachers 40 years instead of 35.
He said: “This memo that was approved for education is a giant step in what we set out to do towards the end of last year with the approval by Mr. President of some special packages for teachers.
“So, at the meeting today(yesterday), the council approved that bill, which will be called Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill, 2021 to be sent to the National Assembly for enactment into law. So, all the promises the President made and all the approvals that he has given me will now begin to be put into effect because this is a legal backing that is required for it.
”I want to assure teachers that this government will do to them what has never been done. This is the first biggest step.
”The intention 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, now from TETFUND, he approved an enhanced entry point for teachers.
”Then, he approved that there should be some special allowances that will allow teachers to be posted to places you can consider ‘hardship postings’, rural posting allowance, science teacher allowance, and of course we have Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) under us that has professionalised the profession.
”Those are the highlights which you already know. But this is the biggest stage now. We are getting legal backing for all these things.
”The essence of the bill is to seek approval so that there is the legal backing for the new retirement age of 65 years for teachers and the service period is being extended to 40 years for teachers. This is the main issue while all other issues are ancillary to it.”
FEC also approved an N1.484 billion contract for the upgrade of the electricity component of the Calabar Free Trade Zone Area in Cross River State.
Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, who also addressed the State House reporters explained that the contract which was initially awarded in 2018, would see the completion of the free trade zone project.
He said: “We brought a memo for the award of contract for the upgrade of the electricity component of the Calabar Free Trade Zone Area.
“The contract was initially awarded in 2018 to upgrade the electrical facility in the free trade zone area and it was not completed. So, we brought a memo and Council approved the sum of N1.484 billion for the Completion of the Calabar Free Trade Zone Area.”
Also, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, said FEC approved a treaty on “Plant Genetic Resource for Food and Agriculture”.
Nanono explained that the reason for the treaty was for the advancement and enhancement of the agricultural resource base of member countries.
His words: “Nigeria has signed the treaty for a long time, but it is only today that the FEC approved the ratification. We will now become a full member of this treaty and it will enhance training and research of our agricultural scientists, among others.
“In short, the entire treaty is meant to boost agricultural production in the country as it affects other countries, 167 of them.”
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