Workers’ Day: NLC demands for 65 years retirement age

By Okon Okon/Joan Nwagwu

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called for review of civil servants’ retirement age and years of service in the entire public service to 65.

NLC President, Jeo Ajaero, made the call during the 2023 Workers’ Day celebrations on Monday in Abuja.

Ajaero also called for general review of core civil servants’ salaries to narrow the gap in other civil servants’ emoluments and those in other segments of the public service.

He said that the extension of years of service should go round, as it had been done in other sectors of the public service in the country.

“Only few other establishments, including the core civil service, are now left out.

“We are, therefore, demanding that the age of retirement and length of service in the entire public service, including the civil service, be reviewed upward to 65 years of age and 40 years of service, ” he said.

Ajaero said that the union had, over the years, demanded for salary review but had yet to receive Federal Government’s attention.

“It is necessary to recall that we have continued over the years to demand that the salaries of core civil servants be beefed up to narrow the gap between their emoluments and those in other segments of the public service.

“They all possess the same educational qualifications and cognate experience on the job. So why the disparity?” Ajaero queried.

On gratuity payment, the NLC president said union leaders had, on several occasions, presented the issue to government without any positive response.

“Fellow comrades, we have consistently presented the issue of gratuity payment to the government but nothing has been done in that regard.

“As you are all aware, the concept of gratuity payment to employees is predicated on the fact that those who have laboured for public institutions or private enterprises are entitled to the proverbial golden handshake from their employers.

“Thus, gratuity is a monetary benefit given by an employer to his/her employee at the time of retirement without the worker making any financial contribution whatsoever to the fund,” he said.

According to him, such a lump sum is meant to enable the retiree finance any post-retirement endeavour of his/her choice.

“The Pension Act did not abolish gratuity payment and we demand its restoration in many public sectors where it has been stopped, ” the labour leader said. (NAN)