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NPF pre-retirement scheme gets boost as PAA, IITA express commitment

By Chinyere Anyanwu,                                   neveralonewitu@gmail.com    09028770040

In order to ensure that all policemen in Nigeria have a fulfilling and comfortable retirement, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba’s NPF Pre-Retirement Scheme got a boost recently as the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Premier Agribusiness Academy (PAA) are to train officers on agribusiness, poultry, aquaculture and agronomy.

While speaking with the CEO, IITA Business Incubation Platform (BIP), Mr. Frederick Schreurs, and the Director General of Premier Agribusiness Academy (PAA), Toromade Francis, during a courtesy visit to the IITA facility in Ibadan, Oyo State, the Officer-in-charge of the Force Animal Branch, AIG (Dr.) Aishatu Abubakar Baju, who has been championing these efforts, expressed delight at the commitment made by the two renowned agricultural training institutes towards ensuring the wellbeing of police officers after retirement.

Abubarkar, who doubles as the President, Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN), noted that many policemen suffer emotional and financial challenges after retirement, which sometimes lead to depression and suicide while others fall into the hands of fraudsters in the course of looking for a lucrative venture to invest their retirement benefit.

She said: “In my 26 years of service, I have seen officers retire after serving their country for many years without concerning themselves with what happens to them and their families after retirement. The life of most policemen is concentrated in the protection of lives and properties and when they retire, most of them want to farm without a prior knowledge of what they want to go into. They end up falling in the hands of fraudsters, get defrauded and they lose the benefit they earned for their service years. And I said to myself, something has to be done about it. We need to bring in reputable training institutes like IITA and PAA to help train as many police officers as are interested in agriculture on world best practices that can guarantee returns on their investment after retirement.”

According to her, “the IGP is committed to this project and presently we have a facility in Kaduna with hostel accommodation, administrative blocks, training rooms and other facilities for this purpose. The idea is for interested policemen to come for agricultural training before they retire to learn as much as they need to succeed in agriculture after retirement.”

The AIG explained: “We have many state governors who have expressed interest in assisting us in establishing similar campuses in their states for easy accessibility of policemen all over the country. So, we are ready for this and I am happy that both IITA and PAA have also expressed their readiness to assist us.”

Responding, Mr. Frederick Schreurs said the IITA BIP’s founding objective is to stimulate product development and provide expertise and training in commercial agriculture and farm management, among others.

He assured the AIG of the readiness of IITA in collaborating with the Nigerian Police in achieving its pre-retirement scheme objectives through PAA.

Schreurs assured AIG Aishatu of the quality of training police officers will get from IITA and showed her around the facility to see the progress of farm houses borne out of the institute’s quality research.

Also responding, Francis Toromade noted that the retirement challenges faced by police officers who dedicated years of their life in service of humanity is a concern to the nation.

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