The Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba has expressed delight on President Muhammadu Buhari’s overwhelming care and support for members of the National Association of Retired Para-Military Officers (NARPO) and other senior citizens in the country.
Adesugba, who is also the Chairman of the Abuja branch of the association, made the remark at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the group held Tuesday in Abuja.
The NEPZA boss explained that it was satisfying to see that the president had successfully obliterated the hardship and tears of retirees following settlement of accumulated arrears of pensioners, adding that members of the association had continued to enjoy their monthly pensions unhindered.
``let me use this opportunity to thank President Muhamadu Buhari for the many very good things he has done for the country and for taking care of the welfare of retirees, specifically NARPO members.
``It is imperative to mention that the president’s goodwill for approving the payment of the N8 billion pension arrears to NARPO members three years ago would not be forgotten in our life time.
``We shall also continue to be grateful to the president for approving the enlistment of retirees on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). The cumulative effect of the president’s goodwill is simply that these aged people are no longer seen on the streets begging or protesting against non-payment of their entitlements.
`` His administration has been wonderful. We need to thank him even more specially for my appointment, a former Customs Officer, as Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA.
``I want to assure you all that I will not disappoint this association for the trust the president reposed in me as I am going to prove that even in retirement, we can still serve the country and we will serve it diligently and well, and that NARPO members will never get tired’’, Adesugba said.
Adesugba, who was instrumental for the establishment of the association, however, urged members to keep faith with the leadership of the association, adding that ``welfare and social security support’’ of members which constituted the nucleus of the association should not be jettisoned.
``Let me appreciate everyone here, we have waited for this moment and indeed it is actually a great thing we now have a virile national platform such as this to call our own.
`` It is something a few of us had advocated for and dedicated to do to support ourselves in retirement. I appreciate God first of all for this organization.
``We knew how we all got to this point and having our AGM today is a thing of great pleasure that we are indeed one family’’, NEPZA managing director said.
On his part, Alhaji Shehu Abdullahi, the association’s Acting President, said Buhari’s good disposition toward retirees was unimaginable, adding that NARPO members were better cared for now than before.
Abdullahi further said Adesugba’s appointment as chief executive of NEPZA by the president only pointed to the fact that he (Buhari) was a man who only sought for quality technocrats to provide solutions to the many challenges of the country.
``The association formally expresses its satisfaction with the president for picking one of our members as head of an important agency such as NEPZA. With Adesugba’s appointment, the government through NEPZA, can now fast track the country’s industrialization process’’, Abdullahi said.
Also, Mr Uche Owote, Secretary of the Abuja branch of the association had described the president as a goal getter, adding that Adesugba’s appointment remained a ``square peg in a square hole’’ in view of his huge capacity and knowledge in investment promotion.