Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has abolished the compulsory 35-year retirement policy for workers.
Workers in the state are now to retire at the age of 60 regardless of whether they have put in 35 years in the state civil service.
Delivering the Independence anniversary gift to workers at a meeting with labour leaders at Government House, Benin City, the former Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) president described the compulsory 35 years as obnoxious.
According to him, “our own anniversary gift to workers of Edo State, especially those in the public service has to do with the issue of pension. Over the years, while I was in the NLC, I had wondered why we have a policy in the public sector which is unique to the public sector in which we appear to punish experience. We are compelled to retire because you have put in X number of years.
“Having taken the pains to clean up our records and carry out appropriate biometrics of our public servants and made corrections where errors were discovered, I believe that about 90 to 95% of our records as regards to age can now be said to be correct.
“That being so, there is no reason for us to continue to use our obnoxious policy of 35 years as a basis to determine one’s years of service in the public service. Therefore, government has decided to abolish this policy and uphold only that aspect of retirement that has to do with age.
“So in Edo State with effect from today, I will effect an executive order to abolish the federal circular which imposes 35 years as a condition for retirement. Henceforth, Edo State public servants shall retire only when they have attained the age of 60. However, if any public official chooses to retire earlier, that will be seen as a voluntary retirement and will be accordingly allowed to retire,” he said.
Chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council, Mr Shaka Otoide, and the Chairman of the State branch of the NLC, Emmanuel Ademokun, thanked the governor for the gesture adding that this has brought another innovation to the service and the entire Edo State workers.
Oshiomhole also on Thursday commiserated with the Nigerian Guild of Editors over the death of its former president, Mrs Remi Oyo in a London hospital.
In a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Peter Okhiria, Oshiomhole said: “Mrs Oyo’s death is a sad loss not only to her family, the Guild of Editors, the media industry but to the entire nation which she served with vigour and forthrightness.
“Remi Oyo was a dedicated journalist who gave her all for the growth of journalism and from my interactions with her she came to me as a detribalised Nigerian who had deep passion for her country.”
Oshiomhole urged her family and colleagues to “take solace in the fact that she lived a worthy life as a mother, an accomplished journalist, and a devout Christian.”