The federal government has said that it will start a five-year training for intending retirees in the civil service on various businesses which they can engage in after retirement.
The Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
She said that the plan would enable the civil servants to be well equipped and have ample time to plan ahead for a smooth transition.
“We want them to have a smooth transition and so the training is focusing on various businesses that a retired civil servant can carry on after service.
“We know that this administration is seeking to diversify the economy through agriculture and because the 1999 constitution as amended allows civil servants to engage in the business of farming.
“We are taking advantage of that to ensure that the training has a large component of various agricultural businesses and its value chain.
“However, we know that not every civil servant will want to go into farming, so we are looking at other areas like consultancy in different areas of governance and leadership, among others,’’ she said.
She added that the state governments would replicate the training in the near future to harmonise with the federal government.
Walson-Jack said that the OHCSF was also making efforts to ensure that the challenges retirees face in accessing their pension was looked into, adding that a standing committee had already been set up to tackle it.
According to her, the Pension Commission (PenCom) and Pension Transitional Administration (PTAD) in charge of the committee has commenced work on the issue already.
“We are aware of the pensions and gratuity challenges that retired civil servants face. It is a very sensitive issue and dear to our heart. The OHCSF has a standing committee handling the issue.
“So we meet regularly to iron out issues concerning pensions and gratuity. Indeed we are making progress and looking forward to a time when the issues of pension and gratuity challenges will be a thing of the past,’’ she said.