The Federal Government, through the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), has launched the Implementation of the Federal Public Service Entrepreneurship Programme (FPSEP) for the benefit of interested serving and exiting Officers in the Public Service.
The Programme was launched by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR, on Monday, 27 March 2023, in Abuja.
In her Keynote Address, she explained that the programme is a sub-initiative of one of the 6 pillars of the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021-2025 (FCSSIP25), which was introduced as an avenue to cater for the welfare of Public Servants, across the country.
The HoCSF disclosed that some aspects of the FPSEP would create opportunity for those in Service to earn extra income, which will automatically enhance their lifestyles and wellbeing, as well as enable those retiring to cope with life after Service, while contributing to the development of other sectors of the economy.
Dr Yemi-Esan stated further that this, by implication would increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
The HoCSF, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office (SWO) - OHCSF, Dr. Ngozi Onwudiwe revealed that the FPSEP is of two components namely: Agripreneurship Start-up Scheme, which allows Public Servants to engage in farming while still in Service, and the Pre-Retirement Training and Business Start-up Scheme, designed to prepare Public Servants for life, post-retirement, by providing opportunities for them to acquire new skills for new career choices.
The HoCSF expressed optimism that the knowledge the participants would acquire from the training would be applied into agriculture and other business ventures, adding that a comprehensive curriculum has been developed for the Agripreneurship Start-up Scheme with six (6) Farms participating in the first batch.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office (SWO) in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Ngozi Onwudiwe, reiterated that the FPSEP is a programme initiated by the OHCSF to promote Service Welfare, stressing that it was introduced to promote and ensure that public servants’ have multiple streams of income.
According to her, ''the pilot implementation of the programme would start with eighty-seven (87) participants, who have shown interest through their various MDAs and are expected to be Ambassadors of the programme.
An overview of the entire Programme was delivered by the Director, Employee and Industrial Relations, OHCSF, Mrs Omoebie Akpan, who affirmed that the Entrepreneurship Programme, is a life changing one, which is meant to rejuvenate the Service. She informed that the first part of the Programme would last for one (1) week at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN), then the business training start-up for two (2) weeks, totaling three (3) weeks.
Mrs Akpan explained further that three (3) Ministries namely, Federal Ministries of Agriculture, Petroleum Resources and Water Resources, as well as the OHCSF were at the pilot stage of implementing the scheme, noting that the OHCSF is partnering with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Farmers Association of Nigeria, National Senior Citizen Centre, Union Leaders and MDAs, who are development partners, in achieving this laudable initiative.
In their Goodwill Messages, the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan was commended for ensuring that this initiative, which started some years back finally came to fruition.
All the development partners promised to throw their weight on the Programme, with a view to ensuring that it outlives the initiator.
The Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture, Alh. Alwan Hassan, on his part, promised the Bank’s support and assigning of personnel that will guide participants on how to access their facilities, during and after the training programme.
The Administrator, PSIN, Dr. AbdulGaniyu Obatoyinbo promised that the Institute is doing everything possible to ensure that the Programme is in their curriculum.
Also, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Gabriel Aduda encouraged participants to take advantage of the Programme for enhanced wealth creation.
Others, who spoke at the event were the Director - General, National Senior Citizen Centre, Dr. Emem Omokaro, the representative of the participating farms, as well as the representative of the Joint National Public Service Negociating Council (JNPSNC), Trade Union side.
The first batch of participants and beneficiaries of the Scheme expressed optimism that Civil Servants can now retire with adequate streams of income that will make them productive and energetic, even at old age.
M. A. Ahmed,
27th March, 2023.