The Federal government has increased the retirement benefits of members of the Armed Forces to ensure that they are properly settled after years of service to their fatherland, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin has revealed.
General Olonisakin made the revelation at the graduation and passing out parade of trainees of the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), explaining that with the signing of the 2019 Appropriation Bill into law, it is expected that the government will implement the new retirement benefits for the members of the armed forces.
The Chief of Defence Staff who was represented by the Chief of Administration at the Defence Headquarters, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, said the Federal government is not relenting in its efforts to improve the welfare of service personnel, urging them to key into the strides of the government in building Nigeria’s democratic values and sustainable national development.
He told the trainees that they should be the ambassadors of the armed force even in retirement, noting that “as ambassadors of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, you are obliged to reflect the core values of loyalty, integrity and unalloyed service on your societal interactions and activities, particularly in the area of national security.”
He reminded the retiring personnel that the community-intelligence gathering which they attended should be useful to them at this time, adding that they must remember that this will enable them to become useful in the national security architecture.
His words: “For discharging compatriots in arms, you will henceforth take full charge as planners and executors of your personal daily activities. This may sound exciting and promising but be aware you need to properly manage your freedom in order to be successful. The society will expect a high moral standard and discipline from you.”
Earlier in his address, the Commandant of the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, Oshodi, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar Liman spoke on the graduation of mid-level officers, saying for the first time, the centre is imparting high quality training in vocational, entrepreneurship and management to personnel of the Armed Force who are still in service and those about to exit.
He said that 21 Mid-level officers and 256 servicemen/women of the military have been prepared to be economically useful after their service life.
AVM Liman gave the breakdown of the graduating officers to include five officers from the Nigerian Army, six from the Nigerian Navy and 10 from the Nigerian Air Force, adding that of the 256 servicemen/women, 116 are from the Nigerian Navy while 140 were drawn from the Nigerian Air Force.
The commandant urged the retiring trainees to make good use of the skills they have acquired during their period of training, adding, “it is therefore imperative that you uphold the professional ethics you have imbibed over the years by remaining obedient to constituted authority.”
AVM Liman also listed some of the achievements of the centre that were aimed at improving the training environment for soldiers and men, noting that “we have reconstructed and renovated, equipped and commissioned over 31 projects in the centre since July 2018.
“Few of the projects are the remodeled and furnished B Coy Trainees accommodation, 16 renovated quarters for accommodation of personnel, new Electroplating and Hydrographics Workshop, new Auto Oven Spraying Booth, model NAFRC Ranch.
“New Quarter Guard and Car Park, FIIRO Road NAFRC Link Road and NAFRC -FIIRO Road Gate, Children’s Park among others were also achieved.
“These projects were designed to improve the living accommodation and training environment for trainees, staff and their families at the Centre,” he said.
He implored the participants to utilise the entrepreneurship skills acquired in the optimal management in their services.
The trainees according to the NAFRC officials were taken on an intensive training on in Tailoring, Plumbing, Music, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning, Barbing and Hairdressing, Electrical and Electronics, Electroplating and Hydrographics as well as Bakery and many others.