Abeni Aso-Oke

Re: Nigerian Workforce- How to Look Forward to Retirement. By Prof. MK Othman


This article touches the red button, which is the sensitive part of many people.
As an outcome of the training on retirement, I wrote the article to reinforce my acquired knowledge of the subject. It was one of the longest-standing articles because of its technicalities. I wrote it, then reviewed it and paraphrased it to make it simpler for my readers to enjoy, not throw it away. I thought it was one of the boring articles, especially now that people are struggling to survive. Alas, many readers confessed to reading to the last word. I have received phone calls from my readers commending me for writing the article; one of the most robust personalities advised me to set up the “Institute of Retirement and Succession” in Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, or Lagos. Based on what he learned from the article, he envisages high patronage by people about to retire. It seems the issue of retirement has been troubling many people, and they are looking for a safe landing.
The retirement issue reminds us of the metaphysical debate about whether time is linear or cyclic. Time is cyclic when we consider seasonal events and climate variabilities, but it is linear in nature when we consider living things. This reinforces my belief that workers must prepare adequately for retirement. At 65 to 70, the workplace eliminates you. No matter how successful or influential you were during your career, you would have to go, and some people may shed tears during your send-forth (it used to be send-off) for sadness or joy. The sense of superiority and ego from your past job would have to vanish. At 70-80, depending on your legacy and your worthiness, the family and society gradually treat you with respect and adore or despise you for the sins you have committed. The friends and colleagues you used to meet and socialize with become fewer; only some people recognize you at your former workplace. Even if you have many children and grandchildren, you’ll usually live with your spouse or by yourself. When your children visit occasionally, it expresses affection; you cannot blame them for coming less often, as they’re busy with their lives. Beyond 80, many of your peers have already departed forever. This is the way of life; everyone will eventually follow this path. So, what do you do as you grow beyond 60? Engage yourself in activities for a good legacy. Greediness, stealing public funds, corruption, and harmful activities should be the last on your mind. At the diamond age of 60, we should be close to the Almighty God because, at the end of our journey here on earth, we shall all return to Him with accounts of how we lived our lives. So, retirement is simply a change of old tires for new ones as the final journey to the great beyond commences.
While considering establishing an “Institute of Retirement and Succession Plan,” let me share a few comments on the subject with you, my esteemed readers.

Abeni Aso-Oke
Abeni Aso-Oke

Salam Prof. Thank you very much for the solid advice on “how to look forward to retirement.” Based on facts from your article, you focused mainly on an ideal situation where a worker retires happily and peacefully from active service, is given all his retirement benefits promptly, and his monthly pension starts flowing without delay from the government or his employer. This was obtained before introducing the draconian pension scheme, called the contributory pension scheme (CPS), which was introduced in 2004 by the Obasanjo administration. After the introduction of CPS, retirees find themselves as victims of modern-day slavery, where some wolves in sheep’s skin called pension fund administrators (PFA) siphon retirees’ funds in the name of “managing” their lifetime retirement savings, leaving them with a paltry sum as retirement gratuity and then allowing a very insignificant amount to be tricking down into their accounts as monthly pension, causing the retiree to die of hunger and starvation. Imagine if one finds himself in this situation, no matter how meticulously one manages resources. I don’t think your model of “five significant stages of preparation for successful retirement” will work unless CPS, which favors some hungry elements in society to feed fat from retirees’ retirement benefits, is abolished.
Prof. Abdulhameed Yusuf

Well done, sir, for this is a beautiful article on retirement. But where did we get it wrong that we in developing countries face horrible times during our retirement days? Can a law be proposed to make retirees live comfortable lives like their counterparts in developed countries? They should still enjoy free medical services, as in the case of our NHIS, as man is meant to fall sick. Although, many would have had sleepless nights when their retirement days drew closer.
Retirement of truth is meant to be celebrated, but it is the opposite reaction we are getting today. The government must look into it so our retirees will still know they are relevant in society.
Engr Yemi Oyelade

Abeni Aso-Oke

I love emphasizing physical health and discovering one’s personality type and drivers. The quest to transition from elasticity to plasticity also resonates with me hugely. Guaranteed income, which might lead to financial security as exposed in your write-up, may all culminate in the kind of retirement life opposed to the late “bro’s” skit in which you presented an analogy at the beginning of the write-up. Thank you so much, sir, for sharing.
Rabiu Isah on Retirement
Most of us, even those employed in 2017, have tested what retirement may look like. It is like a death sentence. That’s why it is suitable for people to learn from what is happening. It is scary to wake up at 60, 65, and even 70 with an income that can’t cover your bill. The family system is becoming looser and looser daily. Children are also struggling to make ends meet; with individualism creeping in as a result of these cruel, bloodsucking, and inhumane neo-liberal policies, it is becoming hard to care for family members in need.
We pray for Allah’s intervention 🙏
Dr Kabir Danladi on Retirement

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