By Okon Okon
The Federal Government in collaboration with Bank of Agriculture on Monday in Abuja inaugurated Federal Public Service entrepreneurship programme (FPSEP) for serving and pre-retiring public officers.
The FPSEP is start-up programme targeted at preparing prospective retirees that have three years prior to retirement for life after service by providing opportunity for them to acquire new skills.
The initiative will enable retired public servants to have new career choices after their retirement from active service.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan said FPSEP was developed out of the need to pay greater attention to the welfare of the public servants, who constituted the administrative machinery for implementing government policies and programmes.
Represent by Dr Ngozi Onwudiwe, the Permanent Secretary in her office, Yemi-Esan said some aspects of the programme would create window for those in service to earn supplementary income to improve their quality of life, enabling those retiring to cope with life after service.
“In addition, the programme will contribute to the development of other sectors of the economy and by implication, increasing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
“The programme consists of two components namely: Agri-preneurship start-up scheme; and pre-retirement training and business start-up scheme.
“On the other hand, the pre-retirement training and business start-up scheme is tailored towards preparing public servants for life post-service by providing opportunities for them to acquire new skills for new career choices,” she said.
In her goodwill message, Dr Emem Omokaro, the Director-General, National Senior Citizen Centre (NSCC), expressed delight to be part of the programme which would be impactful to senior citizens after their retirement from the service.
Describing the participants at the programme as potential retirees, Omokaro said the centre had a lot of package for senior citizens after retirement hence such initiative should be applauded.
“I wish to appreciate the HOCSF for this invitation not only to give a goodwill message but to identify and say a few things to the participants.
“This is because the NSCC has the mandates to identify with challenges of older persons that are up to 60 years and above and to carter for their challenges. ”
In his contributions, Mr Alwan Hassan, the Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture, lauded the HOS for the initiative which would address the plights of retirees after their services to the nation.
Hassan assured the successful participants of the programme of the agency’s loan to carry out their businesses without stress.
“All you need to do is to get letter of recommendation from your place of work and bring to us to fill the form for the needed fund to start up you businesses. ” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Cosmas Ayayi, a participant from office of HOCSF, expressed appreciation to the Federal Government and the HOS for the initiative, saying it would broaden their knowledge on the next step to take in life after retirement.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the FPSEP is the first batch of the programme which attracted 87 participants across three MDAs of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the office of the HOCSF. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Grace Yussuf