• Donates N10 million to Nigerian legion


‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja


DAILY COURIER – President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, in Abuja, announced the approval of N134.7 billion for the payment of Security Debarment Allowance (SDA) to all veterans.


The President also announced the donation of N10 million to the Nigerian Legion, on behalf of the Federal Government, at the launch of the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem and Appeal fund.


Speaking at the occasion, which preceded the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the President pledged the Federal Government’s commitment to the welfare of veterans by ensuring prompt payment of their pension and other entitlements, which had been demonstrated by his approval of the payment of SDA to veterans with effect from 2017.


‘‘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.


‘‘Accordingly, I have also approved the sum of One Hundred and Thirty-Four Billion, Seven Hundred and Forty-Nine Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty-Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty-Three Naira, Sixty-Nine Kobo (N134,749,953,243.69) only for that purpose”, he said, in a statement issued on Wednesday, by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.


President Buhari also expressed delight that Defence Health Maintenance Limited is living up to expectations in providing healthcare services to the veterans, noting the expansion of the reach of their services through the establishment of Zonal and State offices.


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


President Buhari also used the occasion to commend the efforts of the Nigerian Armed Forces in confronting banditry, kidnappings, molestations and killing of innocent citizens head-on, saying that these ‘‘vices alien to our culture’’ are on the decline.


He also noted that normalcy is gradually returning to some affected parts of the country due to the methodical approach and increasing military campaign to decimate subversive elements involved in destructive activities such as ‘‘ in the insurgency in North East, militancy in the Niger Delta’’ as well as ethnic and religious tensions in some communities.


President Buhari assured Nigerians that his Government will continue to reposition and strengthen all security agencies to enable them to surmount the security challenges in the country.


He called on business enterprises to appreciate the sacrifice of servicemen and gallant troops by extending support to them in form of discounts and rebates upon purchases and services rendered, saying this would act as a morale booster to members of the Armed Forces and assist them in carrying out their statutory responsibilities.


The President also commended Governors, who are Patrons of Veterans in their respective States for their support of the Nigerian Legion.


As the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Legion, President Buhari urged government agencies at the Federal and State levels to continue to patronise the services of the Nigerian Legion Corps of Commissionaires in the provision of security and other administrative services.


Senate President Ahmed Lawan, who also promised financial donation, on behalf of the National Assembly, to the Nigerian Legion, commended the President for giving ‘‘maximum support’’ to the Nigerian Armed Forces.


The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor, on behalf of the Armed Forces; the Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba, on behalf of the intelligence community; and the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on behalf of the Bankers’ Committee, pledged donations to the Nigerian legion at the Emblem Appeal Launch.