By Okon Okon
The Federal Government has set up a plan to empower both active and retired civil servants, long after their active service to the nation.
The Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF) Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, made this known on Wednesday at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN).
The essence of the initiative, Yemi-Esan said, was for the quick access to funds or entrepreneurship programmes for the civil servants, especially in areas of agricultural business.
While appreciating managers of BOA and PSIN, the Yemi-Esan urged civil servants in active service in particular, to make use of the opportunity before preparing for their retirements.
“We have thought a lot about the four years strategic plan which the office of the HOCSF is running to ensure the civil service is reformed and welfare of civil servants is the key objective of that strategic plan.
“Initially the programme was to seek for the welfare of the officers who were about to retire and when we had an initial meeting, I said it is too late to start planning for retirement just before retirement.
“And that is the mistake we’ve made over the years in the civil service, we wait until six, three months to retirement before we start training or preparation for retirement and at that time, it is already too late,” she explained.
She, therefore, urged civil servants to start planning for retirement as early as possible by going into agric business as it was allowed in the country’s constitution for civil servants to be involved in.
Dr Abduganiyu Obatoyinbo, Administrator/ Chief Executive Officer PSIN in his remarks, said the initiative was to secure the future of public servants after their retirements from service.
“What we are doing today is to secure and guarantee the future of many civil servants who said they have no hope for their future after their retirements.
“The initiative is also to encourage those who are coming into the service to also secure their future after active service,” he said.
According to him, the institution has placed all necessary requirements on ground to actualise the programme.
Also Mr Nwa Hassan, Managing Director, BOA said with the signing of the MoU, the HOS would leave a legacy which others would love to continue, to engage civil servants after their retirements from the service.
“BOA is the government’s own bank and the core mandates of the bank is agric financing and I can tell you that our financial inclusion is one of the best because we have over 140 outlets across the country,” he said.
He assured the public servants that accessing finance for the initiative would never be a difficult task. (NAN)