I earn N3, 700 monthly as pen­sion after 25 yrs in re­tire­ment – Kiliya

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Francis Arinze Iloani & Re­joice Iliya

Aliyu Kiliya left pub­lic ser­vice 25 years ago after work­ing for 16 years. Kiliya started auc­tion­eer­ing busi­ness and rose to be­come the na­tional pres­i­dent of the Nige­ria As­so­ci­a­tion of Auc­tion­eers (NAA). In this ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with the

he says that he earns N3, 700, monthly, as his pen­sion.

How long have you been in re­tire­ment?

I worked for 16 years in the min­istry of fi­nance un­der the board of ser­vice of the for­mer Sokoto State be­fore I re­tired vol­un­tar­ily. I was in charge of auc­tion­eer­ing, dis­pos­ing of govern­ment prop­er­ties be­fore I re­tired to be on my own. I re­tired be­cause I gath­ered enough ex­pe­ri­ence to set up my own busi­ness. When I was work­ing, we used to han­dle the mat­ters of the fed­eral govern­ment be­fore it was de­cen­tralised to all min­istries. The fed­eral govern­ment chan­nelled all the sale of govern­ment prop­er­ties to the state to as­sist in en­sur­ing that they were done in the proper way. Those ac­tiv­i­ties gave me the needed ex­pe­ri­ence in auc­tion­eer­ing. I re­tired in 1991 and, since then, I have been on my own as auc­tion­eer.

You seem to have im­plied that you started plan­ning your re­tire­ment from day one in pub­lic ser­vice, am I right?

You are right. What ac­tu­ally made me to re­tire was that there was a time I bought some scraps and resold them. See­ing the gains I made, I felt I couldn’t do two things at a time. I couldn’t be a pub­lic ser­vant and pri­vate busi­ness per­son the same time.

Pen­sion is one thing re­tirees do not joke with. How has your pen­sion sus­tained you since you left pub­lic ser­vice?

My pen­sion is only N3, 700 and I have nine grad­u­ates in my house. Do you think I trained them with N3, 700 I get monthly as my pen­sion? Nine of my chil­dren have grad­u­ated. I still have sev­eral undergraduates. I was able to ed­u­cate my chil­dren with the busi­ness I started after I re­tired from pub­lic ser­vice. Busi­ness gave me fi­nan­cial free­dom in re­tire­ment. With my auc­tion­eer­ing knowl­edge, I am able to han­dle mat­ters at fed­eral, state and lo­cal govern­ment lev­els, banks and higher in­sti­tu­tions across the coun­try.

Your monthly pen­sion is so mea­gre, com­pared with what some re­tirees get to­day as pen­sion. Why is it so?

What hap­pened was I was about to re­tire, there was a com­mit­tee try­ing to re­view the pen­sion al­lowances but I felt I could not wait for it to fi­nalise its work. I de­cide to go. An of­fi­cer in the min­istry ad­vised me to wait but I re­fused.

Do you re­gret your de­ci­sion to leave at the time you did?

No, I don’t. My busi­ness paid off and I don’t have re­grets. Some work­ers seem not to plan for their re­tire­ment.

With the cur­rent eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try, some work­ers may be forced to re­tire early or even get sacked. What ad­vice do you have for work­ers on re­tire­ment?

A lot of pen­sion­ers have noth­ing do­ing be­cause they did not pre­pare them­selves for what they would do after re­tire­ment. You see, when you are work­ing, you will learn some­thing so that you can do some­thing after your re­tire­ment. But most work­ers feel they will never leave govern­ment and that’s why they do not pre­pare them­selves for re­tire­ment. My ad­vice for work­ers is that the best time to start plan­ning is from your first day at work.

How about those who have al­ready re­tired? Are there op­por­tu­ni­ties for them in the busi­ness world?

There are so many op­por­tu­ni­ties now. The govern­ment has cre­ated many chances, both in farm­ing and other ser­vices, and I com­mend Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari for these op­por­tu­ni­ties. Even the process of reg­is­ter­ing busi­ness has been sim­pli­fied. You can reg­is­ter a busi­ness, pub­li­cise your pro­file and ac­quire get job on con­tract ba­sis. I en­gage in some works and I don’t need to ap­ply for loan in the bank. Once you can put your pro­file very well, there are chances for you to land a good job. Auc­tion­eer­ing is one area I rec­om­mend to re­tirees.

Aliyu Kiliya

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