*submits SOS to Sen Folarin
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASUEAI) has solicited the support of the National Assembly on Proposed Bill on Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers (2021).
NASUEAI solicited the support in a letter to the Senator representing Oyo Central Senatorial District, Senator Teslim Folarin asking for the inclusion of the union in the Harmonised retirement age.
The letter signed by the Oyo State NASUEAI Chairperson, Comrade (Mrs.) M.A Adediran requested, the Chairman Senate Committee on Local Content, Senator Teslim Folarin to speak in support of the inclusion of non-teaching staff when the bill is finally transmitted to the red chamber by the Federal Ministry of Education for enactment.
NASUEAI in the letter alleged that ” the Federal Executive Council is seen to be discriminatory against the Non-Teaching professionals and support staff in the basic education sub-sector.”
“The NASUEAI members must be included in the proposed executive bill in the spirit of fairness, equity, natural justice and good conscience. Teachers are not the only workers in the basic and foundational sub-sector of the education sector. Teachers work with quite a diverse range of Non-Teaching professionals and support personnel”, it said.
NASUEAI added, “while we conceded that teaching is central to schools, it is also obvious that a positive, congenial, safe and healthy working environment conducive for teaching and learning is also important, which teachers alone cannot provide and guarantee”.
“We did draw the attention of the President and the Honourable Minister of Education, to the discriminatory aspect of the policy and pleaded that the interest of the Non-Teaching professionals as well as those of other support staff of the sub-sector should be taken into consideration in the policy direction of Government”
The letter stressed that the National Assembly as the highest representative body of the people, and the holder of constitutional and legislative power of broad oversight functions, “is empowered to scrutinise bills and the conduct of Government officials” .
NASUEAI however tasked Senator Teslim Folarin and other 108 serving senators of the Federal Reptiblic of Nigeria, “to exercise the power conferred on the National Assembly under section 58V (3) of the Constitution, to amend the bill, in order to accommodate the interests of Non-Teaching professionals and other support staff in the schools system in the consideration and passing of the said bill transmitted to the Senate by the President”.
” Amending the bill to ensure that the retirement age of Non-Teaching professional and other support staff in the School system is moved to 65 years, put at 40 years in line with what has been proposed in the bill for Teachers, will be in tandem with the spirit of fairness, equity and justice to all, which is one of the cardinal principles of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Responding, Senator Folarin assured the leadership of NASUEAI in Oyo State that he would convince his colleagues to advocate for the inclusion of non-teaching staff in the proposed executive bill when transmitted to the National Assembly for enactment.
Senator Folarin stressed that the Nigerian Senate recently passed a bill to abolish the discrimination between holders of Higher National Diploma (HND) and Bachelor of science (BSc) from tertiary institutions, saying, ” just like the bill abolishing HND/BSc dichotomy got the overwhelming support of the 109 serving senators, Proposed Bill on Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers (2021) with inclusion of the non-teaching workers will enjoy similar support” the three-term lawmaker assured.
Leaders of Oyo State NASUEAI who interacted with the Oyo Central Senator included Comrade (Mrs.) M.A Adediran (Oyo State Chairperson), Comrade Akande Ibraheem Adekunle (NASU Chairman,The Polytechnic Ibadan branch), Com. Kazeem Lasisi (Executive Member) and Comrade Alimi Rahaman (Ex officio).