General Lucky Irabor, the Chief of Defence Staff, has appealed to retired military officers to be patient with the Federal Government in the effort to pay their Security Debarment Allowance.
Irabor said those who retired before the law was implemented were not qualified to be paid the allowance, adding that it took the magnanimity of President Muhammadu Buhari to review the law.
He said rather than make negative comments on the delay of the payment, the president deserved commendation.
Irabor spoke at the 42nd Anniversary Dinner of the Nigerian Defence Academy 28 Regular Course Welfare Association on Saturday night in Abuja.
He said, “There are a few toxic comments made on the SDA which I believe were misrepresented. While I must appreciate those of you here for changing the perspective of those making these comments, perhaps those making these comments need to go to their creator to seek forgiveness.
“The reason I say this is that the policy that brought this to being was signed in November 2017 and the provision made therein to cater to those who retired from that day onward. It took the magnanimity of the President through the minister to look at it again and approved that everyone who once served in the military should be catered for. I believe that is legendary and commendable.
“The resource disposition, you know the issues surrounding military operations, and issues surrounding the Table of Organisation and Equipment.
“It takes resources to be able to bring our TOE to a reasonable level. Our fighting efficiency, you all know where it was and where it is. It was not an easy thing to muster a total amount of N132 billion to pay at once. Approval was however given for it to be handled within three to five years which has been modified to be covered in three years. If some of us that should know now go to incite a few others to demonstrate against this, that needs some form of reconsideration.
“Thankfully, the reason is being brought to bear and the first tranche has been paid early this year. I use this medium to appeal to us especially on that matter for it to be put to rest believing and trusting those who are implementing it too faithfully do so. “
The President, 28 Regular Course Welfare Association, Rear Adm. Ndidi Agholor (retd), appreciated the president for reviewing the policy to accommodate those who retired before 2017.
He said, “We were certainly concerned when we were left out of those to benefit from the SDA. This is because the meaning of the allowance is that state on our retirement should pay for our competencies and skills acquired so we don’t negatively use it against it.
“If it has now become discriminative, does it mean that those who retired before 2017 would use their skills as they wish? We thank the magnanimity of the President for changing the debarment policy.”