Posted on: 9th Nov 2020
Review of Retirement in Nigeria – The Management Approach by Felix Amadi was reviewed and delivered by Mrs Funmi Omo, MD/CEO, Enterprise Life Nigeria at the Muson Centre, Lagos on Thursday, 5 November 2020.
A. About the Book
Retirement in Nigeria is a 5-Part, 30-Chapter book that attempts to profile retirement practice in Nigeria alongside management principles with a view to reducing identified related socio-economic burden on individuals as well as the society. A well-researched book, by all means, the book brings to fore several issues facing the management of
retirement in these climes.
This review would be in parts in alignment with the author’s segmentation. I will attempt to be brief but thorough, concise yet fluid. It is my expectation that at the end of this review, we would all find many more reasons to buy this book and gift it to your friends, industry professionals as well as lovers of knowledge and insurance enthusiasts out there.
B. The Review
I. Part One – Planning Retirement
The author takes us through a journey of discovery and analysis here. Across eleven chapters, we are exposed to critical ingredients in planning retirement. He examines various environmental factors, highlights a time plan, a savings plan as well as an investment plan. Mr Amadi takes a journey into the wellbeing of the potential retiree through a chapter dedicated to health and fitness plans and indeed, the rarely-talked-about retirement home plan. This part is critical to every man. We agree that planning is always more important than the execution. Like a roadmap, you have a holistic idea of the journey you are about to embark upon with focus on possible potholes as well as means to mitigating any hold-up. For me, this part is the most important section of the book. It not only gives us a clean run-through of the necessities of planning retirement, but it also gives much material for further reflection as well as a practical guide for those whose retirement is nigh.
II. Part Two – Managing Retirement
It is said that the realities of retirement can never be adequately planned. The toll the whole idea of retirement can take on the physical, mental health can be much. Over six chapters, the author brings us to the harsh realities of managing retirement. He writes about managing money and investments, health, time estate and even the oft bereavement. If the first part was the most important foundation to the book, the second part paints a stark reality and offers equally profound analyses of the same.
This section of the book is humbling expose on the things we hear and see but never really can stop thinking about. From the sudden abundance of time to the loneliness and reduced social activities; the sometimes loss of a spouse or bestie, the inability to outgrow our used-to work schedules and many more. Managing Retirement is everything but a palatable section. But then, it is what it is.
Thankfully, the author did not stop at the gloom, he made conscious efforts to carve a way out using a commendable problem-solution approach to the subject.
III. Part Three – Retirement Management Organizations
I consider the third part of the book a necessary sequel to the second part. While the previous part deals with Managing Retirement, this sequel speaks about various organisations across industries that are in the business of
managing retirement for retirees. Here, the author takes us through the objectives, articles of association etc of the various organisations he profiled.
These include the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), Life Insurance Companies, one of which I manage, The Nigerian Union of Pensioners, the Nigerian Legion and many others. Some of these organisations are pressure groups while the rest are active government establishments committed to making the retirement life easier on the citizenry. These organizations have much to offer every employee and employer of labour, as this part connotes.
Having an entire eight-chapter part of the book dedicated to this highlights the thoroughness of Mr Amadi’s efforts. Essentially, he has shown us that indeed, he is an authority in retirement affairs. I am not surprised.
IV. Part Four – The Future of Retirement Management
The shortest section in the book, here the author takes a look ahead into the future of retirement management in Nigeria. Seeing where we are, coming from where we were, Mr Amadi has cast his lens into a future yet unknown and bared his thoughts into what should be. Over three chapters, he identifies the need for research, the place of social work and the probable shape of things to come.
This section would interest researchers and annuity enthusiast as it could help them kickstart conversations around how the space might look like in the near future. An academic himself, Mr Amadi has ignited a discourse here in this part. It remains to be seen how much of his thoughts come to shape public discourse
in the years to come.
V. Part Five – Retirement Management; A Global Perspective
If there was any doubt about the thoroughness of the author, this chapter lays it all to rest. In three chapters, Mr Amadi brought retirement management in UK, Canada, Australia; three developed economies as well as in South Africa, India and Chile, three developing economies, to us. Here he examined how they do it, what works for them and does not work. He then highlights lessons for Nigeria from there. A fitting icing on the cake that the book is, this part is where everything comes to fore and situates us vs our peers in other parts of the world.
C. Some Questions…
The author has packaged raw gold in over 400 pages for us all. In simple language, he has demystified retirement for all classes of readers. Be you an academic, an enthusiast, industry player or just a lover of knowledge, this book gives you the run-through on everything retirement. However, I have a few observations for the author:
i. There seems to be little focus on youthful retirement or even forced ones. Many do not have the luxury of planning for retirement and thus miss out on the first part which your book addresses. Perhaps you need to consider a future volume that highlights the pros and cons of an unplanned retirement.
ii. The second part did very well on managing retirement. But then, the analysis seems generic and is not delineated across gender. Are we saying men take retirement same way as women? What is the skew of this imbalance? What can be done? What factors affect these? Etc.
iii. Is it possible to consider a second retirement? The book totally assumes we all get to retire once. In this age and time, some have the good fortune of retiring twice; where is their place in the entire value chain? What are those factors that necessitate this and what are the available resources for these kind of people beyond the usual, seeing as they are not a usual breed?
Retirement in Nigeria – The Management Approach is a delightful read with a quality presentation. It is a book that struggles between an academic exercise and a smooth, casual read. But we all know the subject is anything but casual. I recommend for everyone, including departments of insurance as well as public libraries.
MD/CEO, Enterprise Life Nigeria
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