The Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita has advised civil servants in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to start planning towards their retirement ahead of actual retirement age from the public service.
Oyo-Ita gave the advice at a maiden stakeholders meeting organized by the Institute of Retirement Management (IRM), Thursday in Abuja.
He disclosed that retirement which ought to be an exciting phase in the life of the civil servants has become a period public servants dread most.
She said it became imperative for them to start designing strategic plans to safeguard their finances.
Oyo-Ita, who was represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary in-charge of common services, Mr. Afolayan Ayodele emphasized need for civil servant to build capacity and update their skills in order to remain relevant during retirement.
“Equipping and empowering pre and post retirees with the requisite knowledge and skills needed for a seamless adjustment from pay employment to the uncertainties and sometimes disillusionment associated with retirement is a worthy course government and private sector must pursue together if wellbeing of Nigerian workforce must be guaranteed even after retirement,” Oyo-Ita added.
She pledged to support the institute in any way possible towards ensuring the goal of developing capacity of civil servants ahead of retirement is achieved.
“Start making necessary preparations to make life better in retirement,” she said.
Earlier, former Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isa Bello decried state of retirees, who are also protesting for their entitlements.
Bello, who is the governing council chairman of the institute said the organization was put together to address the hiccups through training and empowerment of civil servants prior to retirement and after.
According to him, the ultimate goal of the institute is to achieve improved well-being for public servants, who have spent better part of their lives serving the nation. “Our programmes are professionally designed and of strategic importance to organisations and individuals, who have genuine concerns for a fulfilling life after retirement.”
Bello added that, “Until recently, the condition of majority of our retirees generated headlines in both the print and electronic media for the wrong reasons. As stakeholders, time and again, we were confronted by retirees, who were either demonstrating and occupying public buildings in protest over pension payment matters or by stories of retirees, who though in excellent condition at the point of their disengagement from service have either lapsed into very poor health or have passed on prematurely as a result of sudden drop in their conditions of living.”
In his remarks, the IRM Chief Executive, Dr. Chidi Iheama, said the vision was to support the public service as many retirees are usually overwhelmed with the thought of ever leaving the service.
He listed some fears of the government workers to include anxiety and stress arising from sudden loss of status and self-esteem, developing financial sustainability plan to manage financial insecurity as well as evolving health challenge.
However, Iheama disclosed plans to support with entrepreneurial opportunities available in areas of services and manufacturing.