Retired military personnel under the aegis of Coalition for Concerned Veterans on Wednesday took to the streets of Abuja to demand payment of their pension arrears accumulated by the implementation of the new minimum wage.
The group, which picketed the Ministry of Finance, stated that the payment of debarment allowance to only servicemen that retired from 2017, reduction of their health allowance and their National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) not catering for surgeries are issues that they want the government to address.
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Leader of the group, Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts, while speaking with newsmen, said despite writing to the Minister of Defense, they have not gotten any response from the government in addressing their plight.
“The immediate past Chief of Defence Staff said only those who retired from 2017 till date will benefit from debarment allowance and we say that can’t be possible because those of them that are still serving, we handed over baton to them, so there is no way we will be shortchanged since we were trained in the same army.
“If we do not come out to tell the world our plight it will be a forgotten issue that is why we came out today. There is nothing too much to give a man who lost his limbs or eyes to keep this country one and indivisible entity and you are saying, by policies what they have been paid is too much.
“These people can no longer fend for themselves. We are saying to the authority that there should be a reversal from what was deducted from last year when it was reversed,” he said.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed Shamsuna, while reacting, said the issue of pension arrears has been addressed in the 2022 budget and that 24 months arrears would be paid in due course.