The governor, who made this known during a meeting with labour leaders at Government House in Benin, Edo State Capital, described the 35-year retirement plan as an obnoxious policy which appeared to punish experience. And he also said that the changes in the retirement policy were an independence anniversary gift to workers in the state.
Oshiomhole said: “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 and made corrections where errors were discovered, I believe that about 90 to 95% of our records as regards age can now be said to be correct.
“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 of service in the public service. Therefore, Government has decided to abolish this policy and uphold only that aspect of retirement that has to do with age,” he said.
According to the governor, he would 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 said.
Governor Oshiomhole further stated that his administration had assessed the policy and realised that it was not in the best interest of the people, adding that in other climes, the number of years of experience was something to be rewarded.