The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) says the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Harmonised Retirement Age of Teachers’ Bill into law has motivated teachers to deliver more effective service in the classroom.
The union, which expressed confidence that the move would impact positively in the nation’s teaching profession, lauded the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arc. Sonny Echono, for his efforts in the emergence of Act during his stint as Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education.
This was contained in a letter of appreciation to Echono which was signed by NUT Secretary General, Dr Mike Ike Ene and obtained by newsmen in Abuja at the weekend.
The letter, addressed to the TETFund boss and dated 13 April. 2022, read in full : “The National leadership of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and the entire teachers of Nigeria hereby express our profound gratitude to you, over the deliberate and painstaking effort that you employed towards the realization of the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Act, 2022.
“History has been made considering the consistency and conscious effort of the Federal Ministry of Education to ensure that the teachers of pre-primary, primary and secondary schools enjoy the extended service years and higher retirement age like their counterparts at the tertiary level of education.
“We are also confident that this great milestone will have an enormous turn around in the Nigeria education system. The impact of this well-intended Act will raise the bars of primary and secondary school education through the additional five years of mentorship by the senior and more experienced teachers on the newly employed and junior teachers in the primary and secondary schools.
“There is no gainsaying in the fact that it will result in higher, quality and efficient service delivery on the part of all the practicing teachers across the country.
“The Nigeria teachers on our part, will by this singular privilege be motivated to higher commitment in our professional calling. To parents, guardians and the entire school community, we pledge a more efficient service delivery, higher commitment and productivity that will translate into a proper development of the children and learners both in learning and character for the overall good of our dear country, Nigeria.
“Arc. S.T. Echono, your exemplary passion exhibited in the struggle for the actualisation of the above Act and other teachers related welfare benefits has endeared you, not just to our great Union but the entire Nigeria teachers. You are indeed our true friend.”
Recall that the Harmonised Retirement Age of Teachers’ Act clearly states that teachers in Nigeria shall compulsorily retire on attainment of 65 years of age or 40 years of pensionable service, whichever is earlier.
Also, Section 3 of the Act provides that the Public Service Rule or any Legislation that requires a person to retire from the Public Service at 60 years of age or after 35 years of Service shall not apply to teachers in Nigeria.