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