The House of Representatives has proposed 40 years of service and a 65-year retirement age for members of the armed force.
This contained in a consolidated amendment bill on the appointments of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) from among the three services of the Nigerian Armed Forces, among others which on Thursday, scaled second reading at the House.
The Deputy Speaker of the House, Benjamin Okezie Kalu; Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Blessing Onuh, Ikeagwuonu Ugochinyere, Esset Mark Udo, Steve Fatoba and Zakari Dauda Nyampa jointly proposed the bill entitled, “A Bill for an Act to amend the Armed Forces Act Cap. A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to provide for the Appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff and for Other Related Matters, 2023” was consolidated with a related Bill titled, “A Bill for an Act to amend the Armed Forces Act Cap. A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to provide for the engagements of consultants, senior compulsorily retired officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces to provide training and guidance to serving officers and for related matters, 2023,” sponsored by Rep Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi (SDP, Nasarawa).
Rep Gbefwi who opened debate on the bill argued that there is ambiguity in the provisions of the principal Act regarding the appointments of the chief of defence staff and other service chiefs as well as related matters.
He said there no provision in the Act that prevents the appointment of a non-serving or non-military officer from being appointed as a service chief.
Accotding to Gbefwi, the new bill provides for the appointment of other Service Chiefs, namely the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff and the Chief of Naval Staff from their respective services.
“On the other hand, the objective of the Bill is to ensure that serving military officers learn from the wealth of experience of retired senior military officers compulsorily retired as a result of the appointment of their juniors as Chief of Defence Staff or Service Chiefs”, he said.
The appropriate committees of the House would undertake further legislative actions on the bill after it was passed for a second reading