To ensure a post productive life after service, the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), Oshodi monday commenced a two-week entrepreneurship and management training programmes for 40 senior military officers of the general cadre.
The officers comprising 15 from the Nigerian Army (NA), 10 from the Navy (NN), 10 from the Air Force (NAF) and five from NAFRC are expected to within two weeks, come up with viable business plans that would be scrutinised by the training facilitators, Empretec Nigeria Foundation.
At the inauguration of the course in Lagos, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, urged the participants to take the training seriously.
Olonisakin, who was represented by the Chief of Defence Administration, Rear Admiral Muazu Salami, said: “As senior managers of the military enterprise, you are now being prepared to deploy knowledge already acquired in the course of your career to more civil use.
“.There is no doubt that life after service presents peculiar challenges, one of which is the need for retired officers to be able to still engage in meaningful economic activities with the aim of ensuring a productive and wholesome life after military service.
“This is the aim of this training workshop. l have been reliably informed that this training will expose you to discussions and exercises that would adequately prepare you to handle challenges encountered in retirement, particularly concerning that of starting your own businesses.
“I therefore congratulate you all on your nomination to this workshop and urge you to take full advantage of the benefits it offers. I also expect that some of the skills you will acquire would add value to your productivity at your respective services.”
Noting that it was the first time the training was being conducted at NAFRC since its inception in 2011, the CDS said the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) was working towards a review of the mandate of the centre to accommodate new thinking in line with modern trends.
Earlier in his speech, NAFRC Commandant, Air Vice Marshal Ajibola Jekennu, disclosed that over 42 thousand servicemen and women have benefitted from the skills acquisition programme of the centre.
Represented by his deputy, Major General Edward Nze, the commandant said the participants would be taken through various modules specially designed to meet their needs.
He said: “Records and feedback we get indicate that a good number of out trainees are doing well in civil life. The centre is not stopping at juts training servicemen. The desire of the CDS to extend our services to commissioned officers informed our collaboration with Empretec Nigeria Foundation.
“The senior officers entrepreneurship and management training workshop is designed to equip them with essential tools and requisite information towards positioning themselves for productive life after service.
“The objective is mainly to refocus attention to the fact that a meaningful and productive life can be pursued even after service. Managerial experiences and skills accumulated while in service could be skillfully put to use in civilian pursuits in order to live a wholesome, fulfilling life and still contribute to the progress of the country after military service.”
Giving a run down of the programme, Empretec’s Country Director, Mrs. Onari Duke, tasked the generals to give in their best, adding that those with good business plans would have access to local and international grants available.
According to her, the initiative was from the United Nations and was currently running through 33 countries.