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Oshiomhole abolishes 35-year retirement policy for workers

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state
has abolished the 35-year retirement policy
for workers in Edo state as the state workers
are now to retire at the age of sixty
regardless of whether they have put in 35
years in the state civil service.
Delivering the Independence anniversary gift
to the workers at a meeting with labour
leaders at the Government House, on
Wednesday 1 October, Oshiomhole
described the compulsory 35 years as
“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, we believe
that about 90 to 95 per cent of our records
as regards to age can now be said to be
“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 in
the public service. Therefore, this
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
He said “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, people swearing to
false affidavit, I think over the period,
government appeared to have resolved the
issue by compelling everybody to retire once
there is evidence that you have put in 35
“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 the age of 55, some even at the age
of 44 because they started working at the
age of 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 of Edo State and certainly not in the
interest of workers and employees in the
public service.
“It is my hope, comrades that with this
policy, we recognise that whatever we are
trying to do has a purpose and ultimately
there is only one thing that is important to
us, ensuring that in all that we do, we keep
our eyes on the board and taking Edo to the
next level by ensuring we get value for our
Appreciating the governor for the gesture,
Chairman of Joint Negotiating Council, Mr
Shaka Otoide and the Chairman of the State
branch of the Nigerian Labour Congress,
Emmanuel Ademokun, thanked the governor
for the gesture adding that it had brought
another innovation to the service and the
entire Edo state workers.
According to Ademokun, “the Comrade
Governor is the only state governor in
Nigeria that has given Level 17 to workers.
He was also the first to implement the new
minimum wage. Now he has again shown
that he is the best worker-friendly governor
in the country by abolishing the 35 year
retirement policy.
“On behalf of the entire public sector, we
assure you that we are not going to let you
down and by the grace of God, we are going
to live up to expectation to ensure that this
gesture you have given us, the state will not
regret it”

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