A community developer who retired recently from the National Control Center (NCC) and Transmission Service Provider (TSP), Alhaji Bashiru Akinwale Saminu, CNA, ACTI, MMP, NINIM, HND, has called on the government to review the retirement age of public officers which has been an issue for a while.
The former employee of National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) who started as a cleaner and rose to become the Assistant General Manager of NCC and TSP and worked for 35 years which saw him served at the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), called on the government to peg the retirement age at 60 irrespective of year of employment.
The former AGM of NCC and TSP (Audit), is also a chieftain and sponsor of the Ijede Development Foundation (IDF), a body saddled with the educational and social developments of the Ijede community.
According to him, many who were employed early were retired in their prime when they are still very productive and have a lot to contribute to the community and nation at large with their services.
Alhaji Saminu spoke with THE IMPACT recently after his retirement which was celebrated by family, friends, associates and the Ijede community, one of the host communities of Egbin Thermal Station, where he also served and made enormous contributions.
“Many started work early around 17 years of age and going by the government policy, they will be retiring at the age of 52 years. That is too early. I think that the government should review the retirement years. It would be better if it is pegged at 60 years irrespective of the age that workers were employed”, Alhaji Saminu said.
“I am already retired and cannot benefit from it again even though I am still young, active and still have so much to contribute.
“Many of those affected are still young, agile and resourceful. They are forced to retire at an age that their wealth of experiences should come handy in their stations and to the country at large.
“They retired at a time when the nation needs them most”, he added.
Aside from their wealth of experience which they will be retiring with, the retired AGM also stated that such situation is disadvantageous to the retirees’ health and well – being.
“Retiring at an early age is also not good for the retiree who will have to return home at age 52 or 53 or 54. Such person would be home doing nothing and this may have adverse effects on his or her health.
“I want government to critically look into this policy for the purpose of reviewing the retirement service age.
“The fear of being retired early is also encouraging corruption as many with fear of what they are going home to after retirement will want to amass wealth through any means to provide security for themselves”.
He explained that he started his 35 years of active engagement in NEPA, as a cleaner in 1986 and rose to become an officer, Manager, Senior Manager, Principal Manager and Assistant General Manager of NCC, a position held until he retired this year, respectively.
“It’s been a wonderful period. There were many ups and downs which I was able to manage. In situational management, you have to take things as they come.
“There are periods that you will enjoy while others are stressful. You work with different bosses and subordinates”.
Describing his feeling when it was time to retire after several years in service, Alhaji Saminu said that he planned towards it but that it looked like a dream to him when the period drew nearer.
He also disclosed his post-retirement engagements to THE IMPACT in the interview.
“I actually planned towards my retirement, but it looked like a dream when I was getting closer to the date because I couldn’t believe that it was truly time to go. The reality eventually dawned on me and I look back at what I had been able to do and thanked God for it”, he said.
“Immediately after my retirement, I decided to go back to the classroom to continue my part – time lecturing but the new policy which requires one to have a Bsc to be able to teach has made that impossible. This is not a good policy at all and it is the basis of disparity between the Polytechnic and university graduates.
Alhaji Saminu called on the government to change the policy to make the two degrees equal in status.
He said that he is also looking at other things to do, like partnering with the Lagos State Government on agricultural development programmes and projects, stating that he is planning to use his gratuity from the TCN to finance such ventures.
“I am also looking for a small business to engage in but not one that will take too much of my time.
“I am also partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture, Lagos State, in the area of livestock chain. I plan to use my gratuity for this”.
Like many retirees, the former AGM of NCC also said that he would have more time with his family now that he has retired.
While giving advice to young men that are still in service, Alhaji Saminu said:
“They should be determined, focused, set goals for themselves and pursue such to a logical conclusion. They should be respectful to everyone at their workplace.
“They must be tolerant and understand the politics and policies of their work place”, he advised.
To Alhaji Saminu, there is nothing bad about what people call ‘eye service’ at the workplace so far it is not done at the detriment of others.
“There is nothing absolutely wrong with what some people termed ‘eye service’ “.
He also advised young employees to always work towards improving themselves through education and refresher courses and not get too comfortable with their present positions