To provide public officers with life skills after active service, the Federal Government, in collaboration with the Bank of Agriculture, has launched the Federal Public Service Entrepreneurship Programme (FPSEP) for serving and pre-retiring public officers. FPSEP is a start-up programme aimed at preparing prospective retirees that have three years prior to retirement for life after service by providing an opportunity for them to acquire new skills. The initiative is to enable retired public servants to have new career choices after their retirement from active service.
Speaking during the inaugural event, in Abuja, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, represented by Dr. Ngozi Onwudiwe, the Permanent Secretary said, FPSEP was developed out of the need to pay greater attention to the welfare of the public servants, who constitute the administrative machinery for implementing government policies and programmes. Yemi-Esan stated that some aspects of the programme would create an opportunity for those in service to earn extra income to improve their quality of life, and to enable prospective retirees to manage with life after service.
“In addition, the programme will contribute to the development of other sectors of the economy and by implication, and increase 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. The Director-General, National Senior Citizen Centre (NSCC), Dr. Emem Omokaro, expressed delight to be involved in the programme, which would be impactful to senior citizens after their retirement from service. Addressing potential retirees, Omokaro said the centre has a lot of packages in store 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 mandate to identify challenges of older persons that are up to 60 years and above and to cater for them”. The Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Mr. Alwan Hassanon his part, lauded the Head of Service for the initiative, which would address the plight of retirees after their meritorious services to the nation.
Hassan assured of 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 a letter of recommendation from your place of work and bring it to us to fill the form for the needed fund to start up your businesses”, he said. Meanwhile, Mr. Cosmas Ayayi expressed his appreciation to the Federal Government and the HOS for the initiative, saying it would further broaden their knowledge on the next step to take in life after retirement. According to reports, the FPSEP is the first batch of the programme, which attracted 87 participants across three Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the office of the HOCSF.