The efforts of the Officer in-charge of the Force Animal Branch; AIG Dr. Aishatu Abubakar Baju to ensure that, all policemen in Nigeria have a fulfilling and comfortable retirement under the initiative of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba’s NPF Pre-Retirement Scheme received major boost recently, as the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Premier Agribusiness Academy (PAA) expressed commitment towards training of officers on all aspects of agribusiness including poultry, agronomy (maize, soybean, cassava etc.) and aquaculture.
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, AIG Dr. Aishatu who also doubles as the President, Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) expressed delight at the commitment made by the two renowned agricultural training institutes towards ensuring the wellbeing of police officers after retirement.
According to her, many policemen suffer emotional and financial challenges after retirement which sometimes lead to depression and suicide while others fall into the hands of fraudsters while looking for a lucrative venture to invest their retirement benefit.
In her words: “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 that 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.
“The Inspector General of Police 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.
“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 etc. He assured the AIG of the readiness of IITA in collaborating with the Nigerian Police in achieving its Pre-Retirement Scheme objectives through PAA
Mr. 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 the retirement challenges faced by the Police Officers who dedicated years of their life in service of humanity is a concern to all of Nigeria. He added that in this regard, quality, world class agribusiness training which PAA is known for is necessary to adequately prepare and equip police officers who are willing to engage in farming activities after their retirement.
He assured the AIG that PAA has the curriculum and world class trained facilitators to impact interested officers with the needed knowledge to succeed in any form of agricultural practice.
According to him, PAA was established for the purpose of learning, developing and transferring well researched and innovative competencies required for sustainable investment in all allied industries of the agri-sector.