President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday announced the approval of N134.7 billion for the payment of Security Debarment Allowance (SDA) to all veterans.
The President spoke at the launch of the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem and Appeal fund in the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
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He also also announced the donation of N10 million to the Nigerian Legion, on behalf of the Federal Government.
President Buhari promised 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.
The President commended 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 said 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.
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.
President Buhari restated that he will hand over a Nigeria that is free from insecurity to the next generation of leaders.
He expressed confidence that with the gallantry and sacrifices exhibited by men and women of the Armed Forces in the campaign against insurgency and other Internal Security Operations, the nation will be returned to normalcy as we continue to battle decisively, all the security challenges.
The President said the choice of 15th January as the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration was symbolic because it marked the end of the Nigerian Civil War.
He, therefore, implored all citizens to refrain from detrimental actions and statements that threaten national unity and integration but rather engage in positive actions that unite the country.
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 Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, pledged that the Ministry would continue to ensure the prompt payment of the entitlements and death benefits of the deceased servicemen.
He, however, called on well-meaning corporate and Non-Governmental Organisations to prioritise the alleviation of the hardship faced by widows and orphans of the departed heroes.
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.