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Senate makes u-turn, agrees to extend service, retirement age of N/Assembly staff

The Senate on Thursday passed for third reading, a bill seeking the extension of years of service and age of retirement of National Assembly staff.…

The Senate on Thursday passed for third reading, a bill seeking the extension of years of service and age of retirement of National Assembly staff.

The development came a week after the Red Chamber declined to concur with the House of Representatives on the extension of years of service and retirement of parliamentary staff from 35 to 40 and 60 to 65 years, citing stiff opposition against the proposal.

Some of the Senators who kicked against the proposal were the Senate Whip,  Ali Ndume (APC Borno South), Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe ( APGA Abia South),  Senator Mohammed Muntari Dandutse (APC Katsina South) among others.

But representing the bill on Thursday, the leader of the Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central), said the extension of years of service of National Assembly staff from 35 to 40 or retirement age from 60 to 65, would help to protect institutional memory needed as far as parliamentary practices and procedures are concerned.

The Senate leader argued that the proposed bill was in line with global practices, citing the United States of America and the United Kingdom as perfect examples.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Jibrin Barau, who presided over the session, also submitted that all issues regarding the bill had been cleared.

“Harmonised retirement age of staff of the National Assembly which this bill seeks for would when concurred to, by the Senate, entrench competence, institutional memory, etc, in line with international best practices,” he said.

No senator objected to the bill, which made its clause-by-clause consideration and passage by the Senate.

The Deputy President of the Senate also set up a 7- man conference committee to collaborate with those from the House of Representatives for final passage by the National Assembly.

The conference committee is chaired by the Leader of the Senate, Opeyemi Bamidele while Senators Ifeanyi Ubah, Adamu Aliero, Asuquo Ekpenyong among others are members.

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