Members of the Nigerian Defence Academy 35 Regular Course have called for the review of the Armed Forces Pension Act by improving the welfare for retired personnel of the various security agencies.
Air Cdre Emmanuel Golit (retd), the immediate past president of the association, while speaking during the 40th anniversary of the course in Abuja on Saturday night, observed that the abandonment of retirees from security agencies could pose a danger to the country because of the skills they had acquired while in service.
He opined that the retirees could become a willing tool in the hands of criminal groups if left to contend with hunger, saying, “The military, anywhere is the foundation of the nation-states. If there’s no security in any country, nothing thrives.”
He stated that there would be no industry, no parliament, nothing will work, having served one’s country diligently, up to the point of retirement, it is incumbent on the government to see to the welfare of members of the Security agencies, particularly because one will have skills that can be borrowed, that can be paid for by insurgents.
He said the government from time to time should review the welfare conditions of members of the armed forces and other security agencies, like the Nigerian Armed Forces Act has been there for so long, since the 70s, adding that there has been no deliberate effort to review the document to see how they can add new things that can assist retired members of the armed forces.
According to him, in many countries worldwide, retirees are often involved in various forms of government services after their retirement, stressing that in other climes, one don’t stay in the armed forces for up to 10 years or one is retired and abandoned, as they must look for somewhere to fix them so that they can continue to help their country.
The newly elected president of the association, Air Cdre Danladi Bausa (retd) appreciated the Chief Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, and the Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru, for steps taken so far to improve the welfare of retirees, saying that they have done quite a lot to improve the veterans’ welfare by carrying veterans along since they came into office.
Groups like the Coalition for Concerned Veterans and the Civil War Veterans have at various times demanded for an improved welfare and payment of their pensions and gratuities.