Says employment as academia is usually on merit and there is still room for newcomers

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu has defended the Federal Government’s decision to increase the retirement age of academia in universities and polytechnics from 65 to 70 years and 60 to 65 respectively.

Speaking in Abuja on Wednesday, Wogu said that the quick assent to the amendment Act by President Goodluck Jonathan showed that the government was determined to pursue the agreement reached with ASUU on the issue.

The minister also stated that the increase in the retirement age would not affect the employment of those who are qualified to work within the academic circle.

“In that sector, it is more of qualification and intellectual capabilities of the applicants that matters,” he said.

“It is a sector that ordinarily should be on merit, and there is still a lot of room for new comers to be employed.”

Wogu said that Nigeria was not doing badly in terms of employment, noting that the teeming unemployed youth in the country would soon be accommodated.

“We have enough policies, time and political will to engage Nigerians with the jobs that are available in the public sector, and create an enabling environment for private sector to also engage the teeming youths who are unemployed.”

Jonathan had, on Monday, signed the Bill for an Act to amend the retirement age of university Professors and non-academic staff  to enable them to retire at 70 years and 65 years respectively. 

The president also assented to the Bill for an Act which harmonises the compulsory retirement age of staffers of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education to 65 years.

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