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Senate approves 70 years as retirement age for varsity professors
The Senate, on Wednesday, approved 70 years as retirement age of university professors as it passed the bill for an Act to harmonise the retirement age of academic staff of universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
With this development, the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), might be called off since retirement age was one of the disputed issues.
The bill, however, fixed the retirement age of other academic staff below the rank of professor and non-academic staff at 65 .
Immediately after the passage of the bill, Senate President, David Mark, said that, “we have passed the bill into law to meet the demands of ASUU. There is the need to get ASUU back to the classrooms so that our children can go back to their classes”.
He further explained that, “there are serious constitutional issues to be addressed and we have to pursue them and unless we do that, we may be confronted with problems in the future and that is why we have to take cognisance of section 318 of the constitution.”
Mark commended his colleagues for their commitment with regard to the passage of the bills, expressing the hope that ASUU would reciprocate the gesture by calling off its three-month strike.
The Senate, however, refused to pass the section of the bill that guarantees payment of salaries to university professors after retirement despite the arguments by some senators that retired professors should enjoy pensions like retired military officers.
Senator Uche Chukwumerije, who sponsored the bill, stressed that in the course of the committee’s deliberations, memoranda were received from ASUU as well as other stakeholders and that based on the inputs, the committee resolved to first amend the bill to make room for separate Acts that would take care of the needs of universities, federal polytechnics as well as colleges of education at the same time.