Four hundred and ninety-eight Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) of the Nigerian military were on Tuesday sworn in into a six-month course preparatory to their retirement.
The personnel, comprising 352 from the Army, 130 Air Force and 16 Navy, willspend the next six months at the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC) in Oshodi to learn different self reliant skills.
They would be taught business management skills, fashion design, shoe making, laundry, fine arts, photography, printing, soap making, agriculture, wood work, building and civil engineering works, electrical/electronics, fabrication as well as welding to help them re-integrate into civilian life and provide a source of living for them after retirement.
Admitting the participants yesterday, NAFRC Commandant, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Ajibola Jekennu said the skills acquisition programmes were specifically designed to help build up profitable post-retirement ventures towards self-sustenance and integration into civil society with relative ease.
“The objective is mainly to refocus your attention to the fact that a meaningful and productive life can be pursued even after leaving the service.
“Hence, the main mission of this centre is to provide retiring personnel wirh requisite skills and trades that could empower you to set up your own cottage industries and enjoy productive life in retirement.”
Continuing, Jekennu said the participants would be trained on entrepreneurship an general management skills, security and safety practice, as well as ICT, to help them build up profitable post-retirement ventures towards self-sustenance and integration into civil society with relative ease.
“The centre has been able to achieve its lofty objective. Feedback from the field indicated that quiet a good number of graduates of this noble centre are doing well in their various acquired skills in the larger society.
“Today, some of them are even employers of labour. Hopefully, by the time you leave this centre in another six months, each and every one of you would have become skilled professionals, ready to explore and exploit the business world.
“Your personal commitment, hardwork and sacrifice will propel you to your desired goal. It is important you realise that this is the first time the service is training you for your own benefit. Your success therefore depends largely on how best you utilise the time made available in the programme.
“I enjoin you go be punctual and regular in all train activities; be prepared to learn from both your seniors and subordinates. Be open-minded, receptive and respectful to all your instructors, both military and civilians.
“For us at the leadership level, our resolve is to make your stay here and eventual exit from service a pleasurable experience. Major thrusts of our activities are geared towards adding value and improving general welfare.
“We are determined to provide your basic needs and also create conducive environment for learning. However efforts have been made to enhance the quality of training, welfare and security in the centre.”