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I’m back to farm after retirement- Danbatta

I’m back to farm after retirement- Danbatta I’m back to farm after retirement- Danbatta Datti Aminu Danbatta who recently retired as Director Human Resources and…

I’m back to farm after retirement- Danbatta

I’m back to farm after retirement- Danbatta

Datti Aminu Danbatta who recently retired as Director Human Resources and Administration from the National Population Commission (NPC). In this interview, Danbatta says potential pensioners can avoid retirement-related challenges if they process documents of their entitlements early enough.

By Daniel Adugbo

Now that you have attained 60 years and left the civil service, what next for you after retirement?

One of the things that government approves for civil servants to do even when they are serving is farming and that has been what I have been doing for the past 10, 15 years. Naturally, I will just go back to the farm. Now that the attention of government is shifting to agriculture, that will give us the opportunity to expand and rarely get into mechanised farming so as to assist the country in food sufficiency.

One of the biggest challenges confronting retirees is accessing their retirement benefits. How has it been pursuing your benefits so far?

As the (immediate past) head of Admin I know those things that are required for the processing of ones entitlements. Therefore, in the last three months that one is supposed to take pre-retirement leave, if you want, is for one to process those documents with the Pension Fund Administrators (PFA). That I have done and the only problem that I foresee is that there is still a backlog of retirees that have not been paid. My PFA told me that they have just paid those people that retired in October last year. So, from October till date, there are a lot of retirees that have not been paid. That is one of the challenges retirees may face but with the present government I think there will be a change in attitude towards payment of retirement benefits. All I hope for is for these things to be fast tracked so that as people are retiring they get their benefits latest within three month so that they don’t throw people into financial embarrassment immediately after they have retired because if you do that, it will impact negatively on other people that have not retired.

PFAs blame retirees for filling the documents incorrectly while retirees blame PFAs for pension delays. As an administrator who understands how the system works, who should shoulder the blame more?

We all know the current situation of the country. When people retire the government is supposed to release their bond and it is only when the bond is released that the PFA can now pay the retirees, that is one side. On the other side, yes, there may be some lapses on the part of the retirees in filling their forms but that is why one is given three months to make sure that all these things are perfected before he/she retires. My advice is that anybody who is going to retire should start the process in time. That three months before retirement, all the documents that needed to be filled, fill them correctly, take them to the PFA to check and cross check and make sure that what they want is done so that by the time you retire you will only be waiting for government to release your bond for you to enjoy your benefits.

Did you attend any pre-retirement course or do you intend to attend any post retirement course?

They are very important because these are courses that will guide you on what and what you are supposed to do or on what venture you want to go into and how you will be able to manage yourself.

I have not gone for any preretirement training but I wish to go for post-retirement training especially in the field that I want to venture into that is agriculture. Although I have been practicing it for some time now but no knowledge is lost and once you are trained you are better off by one or two things.

What advice would give to civil servants approaching retirement and how to live life after retirement?

Since the day you join the service you know that there is a day you will retire. My advice is that people should start preparing well in advance. One should start engaging himself in one or two things so that at least even if it is on a small scale so that you will get acquainted with the nitty-gritty of doing that thing so that by the time you retire and you have your entitlements, you can be able to invest. Already you know the nitty-gritty of what you are doing and how you can go about doing it, you can easily invest and continue with your life.

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