To help curb post-retirement poverty, idleness and also to give new lease of life to staff members after retiring from active service, the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) has started a three-day entrepreneurship training for its retiring staff.
The event organised by NPA in partnership with The Business People Limited (TBP) tagged ‘It’s a New Me’, was intended to empower retiring staff through entrepreneur and business development training and also to put an end to substandard living condition of retirees.
Speaking at the event in Abuja, the former Minister of State, Education, Hajiya Aisha Jibril, said retirement was not a thing to be afraid of and “it does not mean anything negative; but most people are used to stereotype jobs and they are afraid to go to a new field.”
She said that, life after retirement can be very exciting, fulfilling and beneficial but the major challenge of people who are about to retire is the “fear of the unknown”.
“The present workforce of the Federal Government is about 80,000, less than 100,000; in the states, it’s about 1,480,000 including FCT, civil servants are about 1,560,000. In a country of about 167,000,000, what do you think is happening to 165,440,000 people? How are they surviving? If they can survive, what makes you fear retirement? I want to emphatically add that there is nothing to fear”, she added.
Jubril stressed that, among other things to do to overcome the fright of retirement, retirees should believe in themselves, not living above their means and that they should face the realities of life stoically.
Earlier, the Chief Executive of The Business People Limited (TPB), Dr. Jummai Umar-Ajibola noted that retirement which should be seen as something worrisome, and a start of new life which should be looked forward to.
She stated that, the lack of appropriate planning, robust financial support mechanisms and global economic crunch to address post-retirement financial and health issues are key factors that can make life difficult and unbearable; rather than a blissful experience for retirees.
“Retirement for many Nigerians is becoming increasingly difficult with many retirees living in sub- standard conditions due to poor financial and health status, relative to when they are in full employment”, she said.