- An alleged move by some senior officials of the NASS to extend their stay is reportedly causing disquiet among the staff
- The clerk, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, and some top officials were said to be making moves to extend their stay at the NASS beyond the stipulated 60 years of age or 35 years in service
- It was gathered that if the move succeeds, Sani-Omolori and others would retire only on attaining 65 years or after 40 years of service
There are indications that a move by the clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, and other top officials to extend their stay is reportedly causing confusion within the ranks of staff of the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC).
Premium Times reports that the extension plan is also causing disquiet among civil servants who said the proposed changes have far-reaching implications on the wider civil service regulations and laws guiding employment and pensions in Nigeria.
Legit.ng gathered that the planned extension of stay for the top officials was being considered among the proposed condition of service of National Assembly staff which has been laid before two chambers of the National Assembly for approval.
The proposal, it was gathered, being promoted through the backdoor, would enable Sani-Omolori and others to retire only on attaining 65 years or after 40 years of service.
Some senior civil servants express fears over the legality of the new proposal as retirement is not determined by staff condition of service, which only clarifies agency-specific mundane issues.
The key Nigerian civil service laws peg retirement age at 60 years or 35 years in service, with the exception of judges and professors.
“The exception for judges and professors was only in relations to the expected wisdom that comes with age in those professions. Even in the judiciary, it is only the judges that have that special condition. But normal civil service is nothing that requires those exceptions,” a director in the office of the Head of Service was quoted to have said.
It was gathered that aside from Sani-Omolori, other officials who could benefit from the proposed plan are the clerk of the House of Representatives, Giwa Anonkhai, and secretary of the NASC, Olusanya Ajakaiye.
The three officials have between four to 21 months to retire. Though the trio would not be the only beneficiaries of the new proposal, they are alleged to be in the forefront of pushing for the new service terms which could see them stay longer in their plump posts.
Ajakaiye is due to proceed on terminal leave in May, as he is set to retire in August. He was born on August 19, 1959.
Sani-Omolori, who was born on May 7, 1961 started work on February 6, 1985. He is therefore expected to retire in February next year when he attains 35 years in service.
The House or Representatives clerk, Anonkhai, is due to attain the mandatory retirement age of 60 next year. He was born on November 25, 1960.
According to the online medium, insiders accused the three senior officials of smuggling the proposal into the condition of service tabled before the House of Representatives on December 12, 2018.
Section 8 of the proposed conditions of service which deals with the subhead, Leaving the Service, as published by the House’s votes and proceedings, contains the controversial clause.
“The compulsory retirement age for all officers of all grades in the service shall be 65 years of age or 40 years of pensionable service whichever is earlier,” the first clause of the section reads.
This is however in contravention of the original position of the National Assembly Service Commission which was transmitted to the Senate president Bukola Saraki and speaker Yakubu Dogara, earlier in the year.
The NASC had in May written to the two National Assembly leaders forwarding the draft condition of service for their approval.
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Senior workers say the decision to write to the lawmakers was out of courtesy and for notification, as the commission is empowered to work on those regulations.
The online medium reported that calls placed to known telephone lines of both Messrs Sani-Omolori and Ajakaiye were not answered.
The spokesperson of the National Assembly service commission, Janet Mambula, did not also answer repeated calls placed to him.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari might have approved the candidacies of Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila as the next Senate president and the speaker of the House of Representatives respectively.
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