FG pledges timely payment of military retirees debarment allowances

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The Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi has promised timely payment of Security Debarment Allowance (SDA) of all affected military retirees and veterans.

Magashi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr Ibrahim Kana, gave the assurance while briefing newsmen on Friday in Abuja on preparation for the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration.

He said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to the welfare of military veterans and the next-of-kin of deceased personnel.

According to him, the debarment allowance has been a subject of agitation by veterans for some time.

“It is pertinent to note at this juncture, that the SDA was introduced by the administration of President Buhari in 2017 which had an effective date of Nov. 9, 2017, which excluded all those who retired prior to that date.

“In line with Mr President’s commitment to the welfare of veterans, he graciously approved the payment to capture all veterans who were hitherto excluded.

“He has also approved funds for the exercise.

“I wish to use this medium therefore to assure our esteemed veterans that the SDA will be paid.

“I urge you to be patient while all the processes for payment are followed through,” he said.

The minister said that the administration had continued to ensure seamless and regular payment of pensions to all military veterans.

He said the fact that the payment of military pensions was no longer an issue, was a testament to the importance with which President Buhari held the veterans.

“All arrears of pensions have been paid and I can confirm the last tranche of the arrears on increment to the minimum wage will be paid at the end of this month,” the minister said.

Magashi said families of the victim of the unfortunate crash at Ejigbo near Lagos of a Hercules C-130 Military aircraft conveying a generation of senior officers on Sept, 26, 1992, would also be paid.

According to him, following the crash, some promises were made by the then Federal Military Government to the families of the victims, some of which have not been kept by successive governments.

“In order to bring closure to this ugly scenario, I have intervened and arrangements are ongoing to ensure payment to the next-of-kins of the deceased officers,” he said.

The minister said the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration was to remember and honour the nation’s fallen heroes, appreciate veterans and serving personnel, as well as encourage the families of the departed heroes.

He said the celebration was also to show appreciation to their living loved ones, and to let the current serving service men know that they were appreciated and their service always remembered.

He commended the determination of the armed forces to bring to an end, all the national security challenges.

The minister urged members of the public to show appreciation and honour to serving and retired military personnel, as well as the fallen heroes.