Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has told retirees from her ministry to get prepared and be ready to explore the opportunities that await them in the new phase of their lives – retirement.
She told the retirees not to despair but arm themselves with the knowledge, experience and skills gathered in their active years in service to brace up and engage in productive ventures that will help them meet up with liabilities and keep strong, health wise.
The minister made the remarks on Friday at a send-forth ceremony for 2021/2022 retirees of the ministry in Abuja. She said they have retired meritoriously after years of service to their father land.
“While it marks the end of a journey, it is by the same fact the beginning of another. I therefore encourage all our highly esteemed retired officers, in whose honour we have joyfully come together to share in the celebration of their hard work and dedication, and to keep engaging themselves with things they love doing as well as strive for success,” she said, adding: “I guarantee you that more opportunities are already awaiting you.”
Mrs Ahmed said the ministry of finance provides the environment where people work together as colleagues and relate as a family. She congratulated them for working and retiring honourably with much strength.
“Perhaps, you may have a mixed feeling seeing yourself leaving the same workplace you had given your best over the years and the same people you had at one point or the other crossed paths with, permit me be honest with you, the feeling is mutual,” the minister said.
Permanent secretary (Finance) in the Ministry of Finance, Mallam Aliyu Ahmed said the occasion of their exit from service evokes mix feelings and fond memories of how far they have come in the cause of career and how time really runs fast.
“Let me say without hesitation that we are proud of you and, indeed, count it a privilege to send you forth into the world out there as worthy ambassadors of this ministry,” Ahmed said.
The permanent secretary who encouraged the retirees to stay in touch as there is still so much to benefit from their wealth of experience, a reason he said the will be missed by the ministry, however said, “we are assured by the fact that the Service and the Ministry, in particular, have imbued in you the knowledge and experience to see you through the next phase of life and career. I have no doubt that you will continue to uphold the ethics and principles, as well as the best tradition of the Civil Service in all your future endeavors.”
Also, the Permanent Secretary, special duties in the ministry, Mr Aliyu Shikafe said it was a mixed feeling that they have to leave. He prayed that their after service be better than their service years.
He urged the retirees to think of a trade or something to do to be able to adapt to the new situation of their lives.
He advised those in service to start thinking of what to do after retirement to keep themselves busy and be able to meet liabilities ahead. “May your life after retirement be better for you,” he prayed.
Representative of staff union in the ministry commended the minister of finance for her support for the staff and retirees of the ministry. He said members of staff of the ministry are happy indeed. He congratulated the retirees and told them that they will reap whatever they put in while in service.
One of the retirees and director of information in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Hasan Dodo said the retirement did not come to him as a surprise because he has over the years prepared for the day, mindful of the fact that retirement is a certainty for every civil servant. He has however, not made up his mind on what to do after service.