University dons are to get five more service years as the senate on Wednesday passed and act ensuring dons retire at age 70.
The act – Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendments) Act 2012 – is a major component of the federal government agreement with the various tertiary institution unions two decades ago.
It increases the retirement age of staff in the professorial cadre in the universities from 65 years to 70 years and from 60 to 65 years for polytechnic and College of Education lecturers.
The amendments constitute a fulfilment of a part of the agreements reached by the federal government and the central trade unions of the tertiary institutions, particularly the Academic Staff Union of Universities in 1990.
But the union’s chairman, Ukachukwu Awuzie, said the senate’s gesture is not an enough incentive for ASUU to call off its ongoing strike which has crippled university education in Nigeria.
Prof Awuzie said ongoing strike is meant to press for adequate funding for the institutions and until that demand is approved by the federal government, university classrooms will remain empty across Nigeria.
The bill was initially passed by the sixth senate and House of Representatives but it was withdrawn for some amendments – since different acts govern the university and other tertiary institutions.
“The law will unarguably raise the staff morale and improve the quality of academic work in our tertiary institution,” Uche Chukwumerije, chairman of senate committee on education and initiator of the bill said.
Mr. Chukwuerije said the amendments would enhance Nigeria’s academic reservoir, reduce talent waste due to early retirement and remove depression and alienations felt by professors who retire too early.