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Senate rejects controversial bill to extend NASS employees' service year

The senate stated that the bill would cause disaffection in the Nigerian civil service.

10th National Assembly [The Guardian Nigeria]

The bill, which had been passed by the House of Representatives was declined for concurrence by the Senate on Thursday at plenary.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there were missed reactions amongst lawmakers in the Senate after the Senate Leader, Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti) introduced the bill for concurrence.

While Sen. Sumaila Kawu (NNPP Kano) spoke in support of the bill, others, including Senators Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA-Abia) and Ali Ndume (APC Borno) expressed reservations over the bill, saying that it would cause disaffection in the Nigerian civil service.

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Abaribe said he was against the passage of the bill because there was no difference between a staff of the National Assembly who has special knowledge as Director of Finance and a Director of Finance in the Federal Ministry of Finance.

Abaribe said: “I have also looked at the retirement age for University Lecturers and Judicial Officials which we passed about the same time.

“And coming down to the officers of the National Assembly, I asked a simple question;

“What is the difference between the person who is a Finance Director in the National Assembly and that in the Ministry of Finance?

“I do not see what separates the person who works inside here as a staff of the National Assembly from the person who works in the Ministry of Commerce as a staff.

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“We must not allow somebody to stay here beyond the rules of public service of Nigeria on retirement year”.

Ndume on his part, reiterated the contentious nature of the bill and urged the lawmakers to be careful in processing it. The lawmaker urged his colleagues to repudiate the bill for further consultation.

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, after his ruling declared that the bill was repudiated because it was controversial.

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