General Lucky Irabor, the Chief of Defense Staff, has pleaded with retired military personnel to have patience while the Federal Government works to pay their Security Debarment Allowance.
He added that it needed the generosity of President Muhammadu Buhari to review the law, as individuals who retired before the law was put into effect were not eligible to receive the allowance.
He asserted that the president deserved praise rather than criticism for the payment delay.
Irabor gave a speech on Saturday night in Abuja at the 42nd Anniversary Dinner of the 28 Regular Course Welfare Association of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
Irabor declared, “I believe that some harmful remarks made on the SDA were misinterpreted. While I must thank those of you present for helping those who are making these comments view things differently, perhaps those individuals should ask their creator for forgiveness.
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Irabor said: “The reason I say this is because the policy that gave rise to it was signed in November 2017 and it included a provision to take care of retirees as of that date. It took the president’s generosity acting through the minister to reexamine the situation and decide that all former service members should receive assistance. That, in my opinion, is both legendary and admirable.
The allocation of resources, as well as concerns about military operations and the Table of Organization and Equipment.
To get our TOE down to a manageable level, we need resources. You are all aware of our combat effectiveness’s past and present locations. To gather N132 billion in total to pay all at once was no simple task. However, it was approved to be handled within three to five years; this has since been changed to be handled within three years. If some of us who ought to know better start encouraging a few others to protest against this, something needs to be given serious thought.
“Thank goodness, the cause is coming to light, and the first tranche was paid early this year. I’m using this platform to make a specific plea to us about that issue, asking that we lay it to rest and have faith in those who are diligently putting it into practice., Irabor explained.
Rear Admiral Ndidi Agholor (retired), the president of the 28 Regular Course Welfare Association, thanked the president for reconsidering the policy to take into account those who departed before 2017.
“We were quite concerned when we weren’t included in those to profit from the SDA,” he added. This is because the purpose of the allowance is to ensure that we don’t use our earned competences and talents badly by having the state pay for them upon retirement.
Does this indicate that people who retired before 2017 may use their abilities however they pleased if it has now become discriminatory? We appreciate the President’s generosity in altering the debarment policy.