NAFRC: Fulfilling Its Mandate of Transitioning Armed Forces Retirees

As part of its mandate to help the transition process of military retirees, the Nigerian Armed Forced Resettlement Centre, recently graduated 316 non commissioned officers after an intensive training on vocational skills and entrepreneurial courses, Chiemelie Ezeobi reports

With a vision to be a world class training institution capable of transitioning retirees to cope with the challenges of post service life, the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC) was borne.
Essentially, it  was established to provide military personnel with relevant vocational and entrepreneurial training, in preparation for living a productive and fulfilling life in retirement. 
During the training, vocational courses which comprises management, fashion, shoe making, laundry, fine arts, photography, printing, soap making, agriculture, wood work, building and civil works, electrical and electronics, fabrication and welding, are taught to help the retirees re-integrate into civilian life and provide a source of living for them after retirement. 
Just last week Friday, NAFRC graduated 316 retirees  of the trainees’ Course 01/2022, comprising 283 from the Nigerian Army, 27 from the Nigerian Navy and six from the Nigerian Air Force. 
For the current graduates, they were equipped with relevant trades and vocational skills. For the fashion wing, courses like shoe making, barring, tailoring, laundry and weaving were taught, while the fine arts and printing training had courses like fine arts, ceramics making, photography and printing as its core base.
 While the soap and cosmetics department had courses like soap and cosmetics making and domestic products, the agricultural section had general agric/food/cash crop, poultry, piggery, fishery, rabbitary, ruminants and snailery.

Also, the wood work sections boasts of carpentry and joinery, furniture design and construction, as well as the machine wood work, while the building and civil works section has bricklaying and concreting, plumbing and pipe lifting, painting and spraying. 

For the electrical and electronics section, courses like refrigeration and air conditioning, electrical installation and maintenance practice, as well as radio and television. The auto mechanics wing boasts of mechanical engineering, battery charging, vulcanising and car wash. 
Other departments like fabrication and welding have the fabrication, welding, machining and fitting, as well as foundry, while the music department deals with instrument learning and entertainment, even as the food and beverages department deals with bakery and the information technology department takes care of computer appreciation, hardware maintenance, networking and internet, as well as systems development and design. 

During their graduation at the centre, they were charged to be mindful of the challenges of post-service life. Giving this charge, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Leo Irabor, said  although many challenges are associated with post-service life, they need to be proactive in their conduct to overcome the challenges.
He said: “Some of the challenges you will face include how you manage your resources, especially your retirement benefits, and the influence from members of your family and friends.
“Others include management of your physical and mental health, integrating with the civil society as well as the high level of insecurity in our nation.”

While charging them to be bold, courageous, remain disciplined, and focused as they take full charge as planners and executors of their daily activities, he added that “this may sound exciting and promising but beware; you need to properly manage your freedom and make good use of your resources to be successful.
“The society will expect a high moral standard and discipline from you, you will also have to prove in your relationships that you passed through a highly disciplined system.
“As our ambassadors, always remember that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remains your primary constituency. I believe in your capabilities to do us proud”.
The general also advised them to be wary of subversive elements within their environment and avoid associating with them in any form as they retired into the larger society.
“It is also risky for you to embark on a new lifestyle that is above your means, or engage in non-lucrative ventures, neither should you abstain from physical exercises.
“Your training has exposed you to several vocational opportunities, entrepreneurship procedures, and general managerial skills to alleviate the above-mentioned pitfalls for meaningful retirement life.
“In this wise, employ the various knowledge and skills you have acquired while undergoing NAFRC training for peaceful and productive economic life as you reintegrate into the Nigerian civil society,” he added.
He further commended the leadership of NAFRC under AVM Idi Lubo for his relentless efforts at ensuring that discharging armed forces personnel were exposed to the latest trends in global entrepreneurship and management training.
Also speaking, the Commandant NAFRC, Air Vice Marshal Idi Lubo, in his welcome address explained that in a bid to reposition the centre to function in line with current realities in vocational and skill acquisition training, the CDS directed the review of the NAFRC Curriculum which was already being implemented that saw a merger of some of the workshops and the introduction of Event Management Workshop amongst others.
He said “In order to enhance the quality and content of our training, this centre is presently in partnership with various organisations for the delivery of vocational and skill acquisition training. It is in this line that the centre is currently making efforts to enter into partnership with the Songhai Centre in the Republic of Benin for delivery of lectures to the Trainees and for the conduct of Train-The-Trainer courses for our instructors”.
While highlighting the provision of commensurate health care support for the trainees as part of the challenge associated with reverting to the initial six months duration for the pre-retirement course, the commandant said, “ this was surmounted with the support of the CDS and the Service Chiefs in the construction of a Radio Diagnostic Centre (RDC) as part of the expansion and repositioning of the centre’s hospital for better healthcare delivery for the trainees and the entire NAFRC community. 
“Hitherto, minor ailments that could be easily treated are referred to other healthcare facilities within Lagos for proper diagnosis and treatment”.

At the sidelines, the CDS went round the exhibition centre and also  inaugurated a state-of-the art diagnostic centre built beside NAFRC hospital with medical equipment donated by the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oludayo Amao, who was represented by NAF Chief of Logistics, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Olatokunbo Adesanya.

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