Strive for Financial Security - Advice to civil servants

Strive For Financial Security (Advice to civil servants)


What I have witnessed in recent years in Nigeria has got me thinking about an incident from the past and led me to the conclusion that civil servants who want to survive must strive for financial security. First, I will tell the story of the incident and proffer the advice therefrom to my colleagues in the civil service.

Encounter With An Elderly Professor

Many years ago, I was invited to a workshop in Abuja. There I met a professor whom I’ll simply call B. B was about to retire or had recently retired (I forget which). But I clearly remember that he was weighing what he would do with his gratuity when he received it.

He quoted the following Bible verse: “Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house” – Proverbs 24:27 (NIV).

He interpreted it to mean that it would be better to use the money due him after his years of service to set up a business and subsequently use the proceeds to build a house, rather than funnel that money into a building project which would not yield any monetary gain. He asked for my opinion and I absolutely agreed with him.

On the last day of the workshop when the organisers were paying honoraria to the participants and resource persons, I witnessed an embarrassing scene. It turned out that B had not been invited to the workshop but showed up hoping that the organisers will add his name to the list and pay him out of respect. I don’t know how the matter was settled, but I think it was probably in B’s favour because I suspect he had pulled off that sort of scheme before.

Why am I telling this sad story? It’s so that we save ourselves from becoming victims of such humiliating situations in future. This we can do if we begin to make provision for our future early enough.

Ways To Strive For Financial Security

Set up a small business:

My brother, my sister, although things are hard, we must number our days with wisdom and prudently handle whatever God gives us. When God blesses you, put the money into something that will generate revenue and think about how you will cope in your old age.

I want to clarify that I’m not blaming B because if you think lecturers are poorly paid today, you can’t imagine what they received in the 1980’s and 90’s. Plus gratuities and pensions took months or even years to process then and many retirees died of hardship waiting for them. So, I’m just using B’s case as a cautionary tale.

Thankfully, not every business requires a capital outlay that you can’t fund. You can offer services according to your skills- teaching lessons, braiding hair, content creation, etc. You can start small and, by God’s grace, you may eventually expand and hire help.

Strive for Financial Security - Advice to civil servants

Just establish something that can yield a little money so you don’t become destitute later. The economic situation in Nigeria is very bad and the situation in the advanced nations doesn’t give cause for cheer or hope that things will get better.

If you’re a civil servant, you’re entitled to gratuity and pension, but you see how corruption and inflation are making nonsense of everything.

Therefore, before you buy a bigger car, move into a bigger rented apartment/house, join that social club with heavy dues, etc., get your fields ready, as the Bible says.

Besides, you may need the proceeds of your business to get by even while you’re in service due to delays in payment of salaries, sometimes lasting months and years, or lay offs which can come without warning.

Attain freedom from tenancy:

Build yourself a house as soon as possible, even if it’s just a small bungalow, because the percentage of their earnings that go into rent is becoming unsustainable for most people.

Don’t take out the kind of mortgage that gulps a big chunk of your monthly pay and opens you up to repossession of the house if you default. Try to get a little property of your own no matter how small so that you won’t be having nightmares wondering how to pay your rent when you retire.

Don’t Place Your Hopes On People

If you have attained a certain position in life, people hardly believe any sob story you tell. In fact, most people don’t want to hear it. They take for granted that you can take care of yourself and your family and expect that you help them occasionally.

I feel I must emphasise this: Do not plan to depend on anyone, not even relatives, including your children, if you have any. Having your own money will help you to maintain your independence for a long time and interact with friends and relatives on your own terms. Paying your bills will cause people around you to treat you with respect even when you require care due to ill health rather than being seen as a burden or liability.

Don’t give anyone room to insult you when your almond tree blossoms because you lack financial security and seek their help. Rather covenant with God that you shall move up, not down, all your life and receive the wisdom and favour to make that a reality in Jesus’ name.

I welcome your reactions to this post.

Kindly share other ways you can think of through which we can strive for financial security.


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  • Civil servants should have side hustles and not depend only on their salaries or friends and relatives because the world is cruel.

  • Emmanuel Ejiofor

    I might not be a civil servant but I think the advice in this post is applicable to everyone, whether a civil servant or not. It’s important to make hay while the sun shines.

    Thank you for these pieces of advice, Ma. Really helpful.

  • Goodness Oluebube Nwaneji

    I’m a student and I still find this piece useful. Whether civil servant or what ever you may be, it is advisable to have a plan mapped out, especially financial plan that will save you tomorrow.

  • Ifechukwu Izueke

    Exactly. I wish the country changes to a better one so that civil servants will stop living on loans and do their work better. The poor condition of the civil servants can be traced to the government.

    • Nwosuocha Winnie Chidiebube

      This is a wonderful piece of advice that applies to everyone not just civil servants. It’s advisable that people should have side hustles where through which they can earn enough money to take care of themselves after retirement and not only depend on the salaries/pensions they are paid.

      • Rejoice Ezeabii

        Even as students, we could have various side hustles through skills acquired, so that we wouldn’t be dependent on people, most especially friends. This message is for everyone and not just civil servants, I’m glad I came across it.

  • Onyekachi Amarachi

    I’m a student and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in this country, one source of income isn’t enough especially of you’re a civil servant, my aunt’s one and I’ve seen how frustrating it can be to wait for your salary.
    This piece is really important and has a lot of lesson for everyone.

  • I’m a student. This very page has opened my eyes to strive for financial security. It’s s very pertinent to do something aside from your professional job.

  • Chidera peace

    I don’t believe in depending on anyone cause nobody knows tomorrow. This applies not only to civil servants but to everyone. Everyone should at least have something to fall back on.

  • Ngwu Chiamaka

    Basically, everyone needs to be financially literate, both you guys and old, students or working class etc, to avoid rate race… Because the experience is terrible.
    Invest more on assists than liabilities.
    Again, keep on writing ma’am, kisses in the air😘

    • Brenda-chelsea Ejefonye

      This is an eye opener to how one can gain financial freedom, thank you ma.

    • Ezeagu Chidinma Annastacia

      I love this write up so much because in a way,I can relate to it. I am a student and I spend money almost everyday in school and for other things and I can’t hope on anyone to help me financially. If not for my side businesses ,life would’ve been very difficult. So I understand that it is good to invest even if it’s a little, so that one can have something to fall back on later in life.

  • Stephanie Odenigbo

    This article doesn’t only apply to civil servants but to everyone. Having a side hustle is very important, that’s why it’s good to learn a skill. It helps

  • Aniaku Oluchi Victory

    This is an insightful read. It is important that before people age to their evening they have set plans in motion for their night when they can’t work again. Not excluding investments.

  • Okeke Tochukwu Patricia

    Thanks for this piece! Some people pay for it in form of consultation fee but you have given us freely. God bless you!!!

  • Egbue Precious

    Always set a goal for yourself to follow

  • Okwor Nmasi Sarah

    As a student , I will really hold unto this advice in looking for a skill, or side hustle to help financially in the upcoming years.
    Some people go through their years in school without learning any skills, even a little business which is so bad…I believe one should be industrious and not only wait for white collar jobs because the economy situation of this country is so poor. Investment is also a very good way of helping oneself.
    Thank you ma for this inspiring advice.

  • Wonodi Success

    For me, this advice is for everyone. As a human, always have a plan B especially for the aspect of finance .

  • Okoye-azi Chiemerie Regina

    This blog has been extremely helpful to me. Keep it up, Ma. Civil servant or not, having a side hustle is very important.

  • Oguadimma Chisom Jacinta

    The content of this post is not just for civil servants but also for everyone who deserves a better life.

    Imagine yourself waking up relaxed, with hot home made breakfast served to you.

    You have nothing to worry about rather than read the newspaper and gently go through you day’s schedule.

    This time, you don’t have to rush anything, no hurrying to board a bus to drive you to office nor, waiting at the traffic before you could meet up with time.

    Why? Because you had earlier planned full of things you love doing.

    The dream of retiring rich. Here, your money works for you.You know, this dream can be true for anyone.

    If you plan for it. Yes, you can live your dream life, follow your passion, and do almost anything you dream of.

    I will buy the idea of Robert Kiyosaki who says ‘The philosophy of the rich and the poor is this: the rich invest their money and spend what is left. The poor spend their money and invest what is left.”

    Investing is a way where you can save for the future. While investing, you are also making sure your FUTURE is BRIGHT.

    At this point, you will have enough money to do things you love and live your life comfortably.

    Thanks for this ma.

  • Okwor Uchenna Sonia

    It is indeed a good advice to get into business as a civil servant in Nigeria.

  • Eze Chidiebeube Judith

    I have always told my friends and people I have this type of conversation with, don’t limit yourself to a particular source of income. If it pays, and it is legal and won’t affect you, do it. All that matters is what you get in return. Besides in the bible, God promises to bless the work of our hands, in one of our adages, it says, a dirty hand begets a greasy hand.
    Start small and grow big, it if pays, do it. Rich or poor, it’s not bad it money keeps coming in, after all, problem no dey finish and nah money dey solve am.

  • Omolola Akande

    This is an advice I don’t take for granted ma

  • Itodo Amarachukwu Grace

    Ma, you are actually a blessing. Aside from doing my assignment. I have found surfing through your blog interesting and a wise decision. Your stories and other inspirational write ups are spot on and life saving. It is always gratifying.

    It is quite good to prepare for the rainy days ahead. I watched a movie where a Nanny’s instructor told her to always go out with an umbrella; for a nanny is always ready for rain.

    So it is with us all. We should have the spirit of investment. We should invest wisely and be fully aware of what we are investing in to avoid being duped.
    Plan ahead for you family.
    Don’t cultivate the habit of relying on people for help because they will one day disappoint you. Always have the mindset that you are alone in this race and it will help you greatly.

  • Agwubuo Ebube

    This piece is for everyone especially those that can’t get their brain off ”life is too short let’s enjoy the moment”a piece of advice you should have a plan mapped out for your financial security(future) because life is short, but you might not die now…

  • Okorie Blessing Chigozirim

    Yes, it’s important to have a reliable source of income. It’ll help in rainy days

  • Treasure Emone

    We all need to financially free to avoid depending on people for basic needs

  • Amachaghi Goodness Akuchukwu

    Wow this is an eye opener to how one can gain financial freedom in this downsizeing economy

  • Ezimora Reliance

    It is also important to note that the kind of company you keep around you will either lead to your growth or death in financial freedom.

  • Udaya Blessing Ngozi

    Civil servants really need to get a side hustle to support their lives and have a better future because, even as a student I try as much as I can to venture into one or two things that can fetch me money so as not to always demand from my parents or live a life that will lead to doom just to get my needs.

  • What a sad story for mister B! 💔
    Thank you ma. Your idea of sharing this post is top-notch 👏
    God bless you for helping us dance to the music of our economy and bad governance. The future is important. 🙌

  • Okocha precious

    The importance of this cannot be overemphasized. Thank you for bringing this to light ma. A reminder that I should continue searching for a side business I can do to put myself now and in future in better environments. Thank God and thank you ma.


    Exactly ma!

    Having your own money/being independent saves you from insults and many things.

  • I learnt that I should avoid lavish lifestyle that might user me to bankruptcy, but rather save for a rainy day.
    Secondly, I should not consider anything too small to be saved for tomorrow.

  • Innocent Esther .C.

    Speaking of convenant with God… As a Christian, it’s imperative you pay your tithe ( no matter how low your income is). Try this and see the magic it does in your financial growth.
    Remember, “you cannot rob God”.
    Remain blessed.

  • umeaku obianuju

    Having a side hustle is very important, especially in our country today, as a civil servant don’t depend on salary every month because you might be disappointed. Even as student we need to have a side hustle, to sustain ourselves. Thank you ma’am.

  • Okoh Stephanie Chinenye

    Unfortunately having one source of income now is a risk no one should take both civil servants and others, in as much as it is hard to do any other jobs aside from the professional ones being done. We should strive and ask for God’s favour while doing so, so we won’t have to struggle during old age.

  • Abah precious

    Financial freedom is for everyone not even only civil servants
    I find this very interesting and captivating

  • Ugwu Samuel Chidera

    In a country like Nigeria, the best way to ensure financial security is by investing even while as a civil servant.

  • Ugwu Samuel Chidera

    Seeking sympathy can never avail us the opportunity to get what we want. So work out you way as a person

  • Ejim Juliet Ifechukwu

    Solely depending on government for income is not enough. All civil servants are supposed to have side jobs or few handworks such as sewing, hair styling and many more to increase their salaries.


    Nobody actually owes us anything so financial security is very important.

  • Ugwuagbo Chibuike Emmanuel

    These are all good advices to civil servants and the rest of the citizens of this country. To add also, i would suggest that people begin to learn,develop,nurture and practicalized their various skills and talents as it would also go a long way in the financial aspect of their lives.

  • Amah Victoria Chiamaka

    It is very important for us both students and civil servant to make hay while the sun shines. As we hope for a better government, we can also create income for ourselves by engaging in businesses, skills, entrepreneurship and many others. To help ourselves and our communities. Thank you ma for this awareness.

  • Winner Favour

    It’s best you work for your money because putting your hopes on people can be heart breaking in the end.

  • Jacob precious

    It is actually very advisable for every civil servant to have another means of survival.
    Because plan b is essential!
    Thanks for this ma

  • Pearl

    I don’t understand why this country refuse to acknowledge the civil servant . The people are the backbone of the future . financial security is very important in life .

  • Udensi Cynthia

    This piece is helpful ma’am
    Everyone should have a plan B
    Incase your initial plan didn’t work out
    Financial freedom is very Important for everyone to strive to attain especially in this present Nigeria Economy

  • Agboeze somtochukwu Juliet

    This post is not just for civil servants is for everybody no matter anything you are doing in this life try to have plan B not just plan B but many plan try and invest in many things it helps because nobody knows tomorrow.
    Tnk you ma❤️

  • Pearl

    I don’t understand why this country refuse to paid civil servant , because this people are the backbone of the future the deserve to be acknowledged. Being financial independent should be our priority in life

  • Dan Joseph

    We should all be careful
    Don’t believe the government and put your hopes on retirement gratuity.
    Before getting to your final years of retirement, you ought to have something in mind and start executing them.
    And this applies to all people who wake up to the works of life….
    …..Strive for financial security

  • Ozioko Glory Oluchi

    Thank you ma for this advice, it is not just to the civil servants but to everyone, especially Nigerians.

  • Juliet

    Whether you are a civil servant or not, we should all have something to do by the side.
    Civil servants too should be acknowledged too anyways.
    But because of cases like this, that is why we need something by the side to assist us in our time of needs. Thank you ma for this.

  • Nelly Otoko

    I completely agree with the advice to strive for financial security as a civil servant in Nigeria. The economic situation in the country is unpredictable and there have been instances of delayed salaries, pension, and gratuity payments, which can be detrimental to the financial stability of retirees. Setting up a small business or investing in income-generating ventures is a smart move to ensure financial stability in the future.

  • Tom Teme

    Side hustle will always be a survival kit!!!


    This piece applies to everybody. Whether you are a civil servant or not, have a side hustle or find a legal way to earn extra income. Being self independent is a massive goal on its own because it will get to a point in life where you are expected to cater for your welfare.

  • Eleke Jane Somadina

    The way Nigerian government treats lectures and teachers is so pathetic. They’re supposed to be among the highest paid profession but reverse is the case.

    So far as one lives in this country, they should have multiple sources of income, especially low salary earners. And of course, save. It is the firewood you gathered in the rainy season that you will use in the dry season.

    Learning a craft will be helpful too.

  • Nnamani Chidibere John

    The hardship most retirees face in Nigeria today is becoming alarming, that’s why all should remember the importance of financial security, and try to create something that can generate income while they are no longer in active service.

  • What most civil servants do when they have no other source of income asides their monthly salary could be likened to one casting one’s eggs in one basket; this could be very dangerous and disastrous too. Hence, the need for financial security. Reason is, when one is financially secure, it will be difficult for people to insult you based on financial challenges.

  • Bassey Faith

    This is a very good advice to each and every one of us.

  • Ugwuoke Eurel Chikwendu

    This provides valuable insights into the challenges faced by civil servants and retirees in Nigeria, emphasizing the need for financial security. The personal story of B serves as a cautionary tale, and the advice to set up a small business, attain freedom from tenancy, and maintain financial independence is practical and relevant. The message of self-reliance and trust in God offers a hopeful perspective on securing one’s future.

  • Omeh-Williams Chekwube Dominion

    This shares the importance of financial security for civil servants and offers practical advice on achieving it. Wise counsel for planning one’s financial future.

  • Ogbu Cynthia Nneoma

    We should all be careful. Don’t believe the government and put your hopes on retirement gratuity. Before getting to your final years of retirement, you ought to have something in mind and start executing them, and this applies to all people who wake up to the works of life. Strive for financial security.

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