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Buhari approves N134.7bn debarment allowance for retired military officers after protest

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N134.7 billion for the payment of security debarment allowance (SDA) to all military veterans.

Buhari, who spoke at the launch of the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem and Appeal Fund, also announced the donation of N10 million to the Nigerian Legion, on behalf of the federal government.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the inauguration of the emblem appeal fund preceded the meeting of the federal executive council (FEC).

In September, retired military officers staged a protest over unpaid allowances.

The officers had said the demonstration was to demand the payment of their security debarment allowance (SDA), which Buhari approved in May 2022.

Speaking at the event, Buhari pledged the government’s commitment to the welfare of veterans by ensuring prompt payment of pensions and entitlements.

“However, in order to capture all veterans hitherto excluded from the payment of the SDA, I have approved a review of the effective date of the Manual of Financial Administration for the Armed Forces of Nigeria (MAFA) 2017,” Buhari said.

“Accordingly, I have also approved the sum of N134,749,953,243.69 only for that purpose.”

The president expressed delight that Defence Health Maintenance Limited is living up to expectations in providing health care services to veterans.

He promised that government would continue to prioritise the provision of quality healthcare services to veterans and citizens at large.

Buhari commended the efforts of the Nigerian armed forces in confronting banditry, kidnappings, molestations and killing of innocent citizens, adding that the vices which are “alien to our culture’’ are now on the decline.

According to the president, normalcy is gradually returning to some affected parts of the country, due to the methodical approach and increased military effort to decimate criminal elements including “the insurgency in the north-east and militancy in the Niger Delta”.

The president assured that his administration would hand over “a Nigeria that is free from insecurity”

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