Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has abolished the 35-year retirement policy for workers in Edo State.
Workers are now to retire at 60, regardless of whether they have put in 35 years in the civil service.
Delivering the ?Independence anniversary gift? to the workers at a meeting with labour leaders at the Government House, yesterday, Oshiomhole described the compulsory 35 years as obnoxious.
The governor said: ?Our own anniversary gift to Edo workers, especially those in the public service, has to do with pension.
?Over the years, while I was in the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), I had wondered why we have a unique policy in 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 per cent 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, the 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 sign an executive order to abolish the federal circular, which imposes 35 years as a condition for retirement.
?Henceforth, public servants shall retire only when they have reached 60. However, if any public official chooses to retire earlier, that will be seen as a voluntary retirement.
?In other climes, number of years of experience is something to be rewarded. It is not a basis for termination or forced retirement but I do understand that some other aspects of our national life, we have evolved policies on seeking the easiest escape route to a complex problem because government could not cope with the issues of falsification of age.
?We have reflected on all this. This year, I have seen a lot of young people, still strong and hardworking, and we have lost them because they had to retire because they have put in 35 years even when they were not 60 years old.
?I have seen some people retire at 55, some at 44 because they started working at 20.
?Consistent with our commitment to reforms, and interrogating every public policy that we inherited, I am convinced that this policy is no longer in the interest of the people and certainly not in the interest of workers and employees in the public service.?
The Chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council, Shaka Otoide and the NLC state Chairman, Emmanuel Ademokun, thanked the governor for the gesture, adding that this has brought another innovation to the service.