21 April 2017

Nigeria: Para-Military Retirees Look Beyond Pension, Shifts to Entrepreneurship

Para-military retirees have started looking beyond pension and shifting towards entrepreneurship and skills development to make money and improve their psychological wellbeing in retirement.

The National Association of Retired Para-Military Officers (NARPO) yesterday engaged its members in capacity building workshop in Abuja to help them in productive ventures after retirement.

The Chairman of the Abuja chapter, NARPO, Prof. Soji Adesugba, who said being old and retired is not a challenge, added that to start a new thing that will help contribute to the economy development of the nation is paramount.

Prof. Adesugba said most people when in government service are not prepared for retirement and when they retired most of them are fixated to what they have been doing all their lives also said, there is the need for them to start rethinking how to survive after retirement and not just depend on pension.

"Most retired officers have experience and still very productive and that is why we need to develop ourselves by building capacity that will make us contribute to the development of the nation."

He added that the idea behind the workshop is to build the capacity of retired members to allow them see opportunities that are available and key into such.

"We believe that they are agile and can still participate in contributing to the economy development of Nigeria with their experiences. Lot of money has been expended in them by the government through training and they can still be included in different aspects of the economy," he said.

The National Directorate of Employment told the pensioners that no one could be considered too old to get skills.

The representative of the Directorate at the workshop, Mohammed Amin, told the pensioners that there is a Matured People Programme (MPP) at the Directorate for retirees who wish to acquire skills in different areas and obtain start-up loans.

He encouraged the retirees to identify an area, learn the business and secure funding to start.

The Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dikko Radda, commended NARPO's effort for organising themselves in building the capacity of their members.

Radda who added that SMEDAN also have a lot of capacity building programmes that cater for retired people said his agency promised to keep giving the necessary support in line with their mandate in providing capacity building in terms of entrepreneurship training, counseling and monitoring of business to NARPO.

He advised pensioners to be serious with their businesses while saying that most of the businesses died at the initial stage because people were not getting enough capacity needed but with this kind of workshop in place it will enhance them.

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