FG Begins Payment Of Service Allowances To Military Retirees
Nigerian military retirees or next of kin to deceased military officers have begun receipt of Security Debarment Allowance (SDA) from the federal government.
Naija News understands that the government initiative to military personnel was aimed at discouraging those who served in the force from using the skills they have acquired while in service to counter the government.
The Military Pensions Board had, however, declared earlier that retirees before 2017 are not entitled to the benefits since they were not in service when the programme was introduced.
Over 90,000 military retirees who retired before 2017 have been deprived of the programme since it was initiated.
According to the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (retd), their exclusion was on purpose because the personnel who retired before the law was signed were not entitled to the allowance.
Naija News understands that affected retired military personnel have embarked on a series of protests in the last two years to demand the payment of their allowance.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari, last year, during the inauguration of the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem and Appeal Fund, said he had approved N134.7bn for the payment of the allowance to all military veterans.
In a statement obtained on Thursday (today), the Chairman Military Pensions Board, Rear Admiral Saburi Lawal, said the board has commenced the payment after an agreement had been reached with the retirees.
The statement read, ”Sequel to the approval given by the President for the payment of the Security Debarment Allowance to military retirees who originally were not covered by the November 9, 2017, effective date and the agreement reached at the ensuing tripartite meetings of the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Finance and representatives of the Veteran Associations.
“The Military Pensions Board wishes to inform our esteemed military retirees and the general public that the Board has commenced payment of the first and second tranches (that is, for 1st and 2nd Quarters 2023) of the SDA to eligible military retirees/Next of Kins of deceased military personnel.
“The payment, which is in fulfilment of the Presidential approval of the provisions of the reviewed Manual of Financial Administration 2017, will commence on Thursday, 5 January 2023.“
Lawal reiterated that those whose name were on the database and retired before November 9, 2017, would be paid.
The statement added, “The beneficiaries of these payments are: military retirees on the MPB database who retired before 9 November 2017, deceased military retirees who were alive when the MAFA was signed on 9 November 2017, and non-pensionable retirees who retired before 9 November 2017 but were only paid gratuities.
‘However, our esteemed retirees are please requested to note that the SDA is calculated as a function of 10% of the retiree’s annual basic salary at the time of retirement multiplied by the number of years served in the services.”
He, however, urged all concerned military pensioners and NOKs of deceased military personnel to contact their banks for their entitlements.