Nigerian teachers who wish to benefit from the extension of retirement age approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, must undergo comprehensive medical tests, The PUNCH reports.

Recall that Buhari had during the October 2020 World Teachers’ Day announced a new retirement age and salary scheme for teachers.

Prior to the announcement, the retirement age of teachers in service was 60 years or 35 years in service.

But speaking through the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, the President extended the service year to 65.

The President recently sent a bill, Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria, to the National Assembly to give legal backing to the approval.

But The PUNCH learnt on Tuesday that it was not automatic for all teachers to benefit from the extension.

Our correspondent learnt that teachers who wanted to benefit would have to apply to the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, stating when they would retired and expressing their interest in extension of service.

They would subsequently undergo comprehensive medical tests and be certified fit before being considered for the extension.

Some of the teachers who were due for retirement and were interested in the extension also confirmed this to our correspondent.

One of them said, “Some of us who are due for retirement and are interested in extension of service year were told to go and undergo medical tests.

“When I did mine, I was told that my blood pressure was too high. I was told that with high BP, they may not recommend me to remain in service for another five years.”

When contacted, the Director of Press, Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, confirmed that “interested teachers will be expected to undergo comprehensive medical test.”

Goong said, “The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, has set up a committee.

“Teachers who have clocked 60 years and wish to continue; that is to retire at the age of 65 years, will have to pick forms; they will fill them and make their intentions known.

“In the process of registration, they will have to go through comprehensive medical tests, but we have not finalised it (the process) yet.”

We didn’t bargain for test

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the National Union of Teachers, Dr Mike Ene, said the Federal Government did not say that those who will benefit from the extension of tenure must undergo medical tests.

In a telephone interview with our correspondent, Ene said, “As far as I am concerned, this is not what we bargained for. This is not what we talked about. This thing looks like it is now political, certain people are being targeted.

“Lecturers sometimes stay 65 years or 70 years; how many times do they go for medical tests? We have agreed 40 years of service and 65 years for retirement and there was no clause; so why are they saying this now?

“For now, we will keep our fingers crossed till states also come up with that policy. But this is not our bargain.”

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