The Delta State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege says he has no plans to reverse the retirement age of public service teachers which was recently extended by the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Recall that the Delta State Government Monday, March 6, 2023, approved a new retirement age of 40 years of service or 65 years of age for teachers in the public service of the state following the domestication of the Act for the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria by the State Legislature.
In a statement on Friday, Senator Omo-Agege accused “agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)” in the state of peddling the falsehood that he was going to reverse the new retirement age for teachers if he is elected as the next governor of the state.
Omo-Agege who is also the Deputy President of the Senate in the statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sunny Areh, urged “Deltans, especially teachers and residents of Delta State to ignore the unfounded rumour by the PDP and vote for Omo-Agege as the next Governor of the State”.
In the statement titled “On the extension of Teachers’ retirement age to 65 years”, Omo-Agege who is serving his second term as the senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District noted that “On April 8, 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill which then became an Act. Section 1 of the Act clearly states that Teachers in Nigeria shall compulsorily retire on attainment of 65 years of age or 40 years of pensionable service, whichever is earlier.
“Unfortunately, uninformed disinformation agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) shamelessly showed an unbelievable level of ignorance and naivety by generating and disseminating the absolutely false story that the Delta State Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, plans to reverse the recent domestication of the Federal law by Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State when assumes office as Governor.
“The Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Act was passed into law by the National Assembly in January 2021 under Senator Omo-Agege’s watch as Deputy Senate President.
“To now suggest that the same law Senator Omo-Agege facilitated its passage into law will be rolled back when he becomes Governor after winning the rescheduled March 18, 2023 gubernatorial election is not just stupid and idiotic but farcical.
“A few days ago, Governor Okowa approved the adoption of the Act extending the retirement age of teachers exactly one year after the Federal Government had begun its implementation. It was a belated move borne out of desperation. The same desperation is now cloaked with pitiable ignorance with the stupid rumour.
“For record purposes, Senator Omo-Agege is part of the leadership of the National Assembly as Deputy Senate President that worked assiduously for the passage of the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill into law.
“This was accomplished by the APC-led Federal Government where Senator Omo-Agege is a ranking leader.
“The Deputy Senate President has a concerted programme to improve the ambience for learning by upgrading the infrastructure in educational institutions, promote teachers as and when due and ensure that on retirement, their gratuity and benefits are paid.”