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Senate rejects bill to extend years of service for NASS staff to 65



The Senate has rejected the controversial bill seeking to extend the service year for employees of the National Assembly by an additional five years.

The bill, which had been passed at the House of Representatives was declined for concurrence by the Senate on Thursday at plenary.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there were missed reactions amongst lawmakers in the Senate after the Senate Leader, Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti) introduced the bill for concurrence.

While Sen. Sumaila Kawu (NNPP Kano) spoke in support of the bill, others, including Senators Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA-Abia) Ali Ndume (APC Borno) expressed reservations over the bill, saying that it would cause disaffection in the Nigerian civil service.

Abaribe said he was against the passage of the bill, because there was no difference between a staff of National Assembly who has a special knowledge as Director of Finance and a Director of Finance in Federal Ministry of Finance.

Abaribe said: “I have also look at the retirement age for University Lecturers and Judicial Officials which we passed about the same time.

“And coming down to the officers of the National Assembly, I asked a simple question;

“What is the difference between the person who is a Finance Director in National Assembly and that in the Ministry of Finance?

“I do not see what separates the person who works inside here as a staff of National Assembly from the person who works in the Ministry of Commerce as a staff.

“We must not allow somebody to stay here beyond the rules of public service of Nigeria  on retirement year”.

Ndume on his part, reiterated the contentious nature of the bill and urged the lawmakers to be careful in processing it.

The lawmaker urged his colleagues to repudiate the bill for further consultation.

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, after his ruling declared that the bill was repudiated because it was controversial.

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