The Nasarawa State Government has begun a two-week skills and entrepreneurship training for over 100 civil servants who are about retiring from service after serving for 35 years or attaining 60 years of age as required by the law.
The training on different skills is scheduled to hold at the Wing Commander Abdullahi Ibrahim Vocational and Technology Institute Lafia.
Speaking at the commencement of the training on Friday (March 3, 2023) in Lafia Governor Abdullahi Sule said the programme which was the first in the State, was aimed at addressing the challenges civil servants often faced after retiring from active service.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, said the initiative was well thought and designed to equip senior citizens in the state with practical skills to be self-employed and get extra income.
“The effective way of preparing for a happy retirement is possessing a functional vocational skill that enables the retiree set-up a business, become a successful entrepreneur and employer of labour.
“This is the first training ever held for retiring civil servants in the State and we will sustain and even improve on it.
“Hitherto, training were only held for youths and women, but we decided to also include this category of people giving the difficulties some of them faced after retirement.
“We are working hard to ensure that those who retired from service gets thier thier gratuity few months thereafter to enable them start a business having acquired a skill,” Sule added.
The Governor explained that his government had met backlog of unpaid gratuity, but had put up machinery to offset it.
He said payment of gratuity is based on those who retired first and not based on who you know in government.
He therefore promised to be more committed to welfare of civil servants and retirees when re-elected for second term on March 11.
On her part, Barr. Abigail Wayas, the Acting Head of Civil Service in the State lauded the Governor for the initiative to better the welfare of civil servants and retirees.
The Head of Civil Service said civil servants have never had it so good like under the current government since the State was created in 1996.
“The Governor has implemented outstanding promotions, employed more workforce, giving permanent employment to casual workers and now skills and entrepreneurship training for civil servants preparing for retirement,” she added.
Also, Comrade Yusuf Iya and Mohammed Doma, Chairmen of Nigeria Lobour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) commended the Governor for the initiative adding that, it would go a long way to make the lives of the retirees worthwhile and reduce health challenges and stress.
The duo however, appealed to the Governor to ensure that civil servants gets their retirement benefits three or four months after to enable them set up businesses.
They said without capital, there is no way the retirees would set-up their own businesses, as such the essence of the entrepreneurship and skills training by the government would be defeated.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Juliana Kuju, commended the government for the initiative and promised not to take the opportunity for granted.