The Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar CON,mni on Friday, 13th October, 2023 said Federal Government has commenced the disbursement of Security Debarment Allowance (SDA) to members of the armed forces who retired from service from November 9, 2017.
However, due to agitations and demonstrations by veterans that were initially excluded from the allowance, the federal government in its wisdom and magnanimity had to include all veterans that retired or discharged before November 9, 2017.
He said: I am glad to state that a phased implementation of the Security Debarment Allowance for the hitherto excluded veterans commenced in January 2023.
“By this, all veterans who retired /discharged honourably from the services of the Armed Forces of Nigeria will reap this benefit.”
The Minister, Muhammad Badaru Abubakar (M) and guests in a group picture at the end of the event
The Minister made the disclosure at a press briefing to herald activities lined up for the 2024-Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebrations at the National Defence College in Abuja.
Abubakar, said President Bola Tinubu, has also approved as first trance the payments of group life assurance as benefits to personnel who died from 2011 to 2021 with a view to offsetting the backlog in due course, adding that the President has approved the inclusion of ex-service men, widows and dependents of fallen heroes/heroines of the armed forces in the social intervention programmes of government.
He said: “To this end, ex-Service men and their dependents would benefit from the Conditional cash transfer as well as government enterprises empowerment programmes.”
Minister of Defence, Muhammad Badaru Abubakar reading his speech at the ministerial press briefing to herald the 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebrations at National Defence College, Abuja
The Minister, said the skill acquisition centre at Takum in Taraba State which is 90% completion will enable veterans, widows and dependent of departed heroes and heroines will enable them learn skills that will enable them support their families, adding that his predecessor had planned to established 7 skill acquisition centres across the country.
Abubakar, however regretted that 22 gallant officers and men of the armed forces felled by bandits on assumption of duty, adding however that the success recorded by the armed forces have only served as encouragement to persevere until victory is finally assured and all displaced persons return to their homes.
He reiterated that government will continue to equip the armed forces with combat capabilities, training and equipment with a view to reducing to the barest minimum, causalities due to operations, expressing optimism that that President Tinubu will bring to an end.
Cross section of military personnel, veterans, widows and invited guests at the event
According to him, the Nigerian legion humanitarian day will hold on Friday 20 of this month, while the launch of the emblem by President will hold on the 25th October at the State House, adding that the climax of the celebration will be laying of wreath by the President at the National Arcade on January 15th, 2024 in Abuja.
Fatimah Yusuf & Daberechi Asonye
For Director (Press)