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Buhari approves N134.7bn for payment of military veterans’ entitlements

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Buhari approves N134.7bn for payment of military veterans' entitlements

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the payment of Security Debarment Allowance, (SDA), to the deserving retired military officers and personel.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd), at a meeting he conveyed with the leadership of all cells of Veteran Associations held on Thursday, according to the minister’s spokesman, Mohammed AbdulKadri.

He said: “President Buhari has approved the sum of N134.7 billion for the payment to those earlier excluded Veterans who retired earlier than 9th November, 2017. The outstanding SDA Allowance will be paid over a period of 3-5 years since government can not afford to pay in a tranche.

“The Ministry of Defence has taken steps to facilitate seamless payment of the SDA to qualified Veterans through the review of the effective date of the Manual for Financial Administration, (MAFA) 2017 to be handled by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) while the Verification of Veterans for the payment will be done by the Military Pensions Board, (MPB).

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Magashi however engaged participants in an interactive session to ventilate their views to which he cleared the air on issues raised such as date for the commencement of payment and the general concerns that 3-5 years timeline is too long to earn their entitlements for fear of death.

Other area of concern by the Veterans centered on Defence Health Insurance Scheme DHIS, to which the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Dr Ibrahim Abubakar Kana, mni allayed their fears that the ongoing reforms in the Military hospitals will take care of their desire for healthy living in retirement.

On his part the Chairman Nigerian Legion Maj. Gen. Abdulmalik Jibril (rtd) thanked the Minister of Defence for the success attained with the Presidential approval for the payment of SDA.

He further explained that the Nigerian Legion is an umbrella body for all the veteran Association and must be recognised as such.

On a final note of appreciation to the retired General Magashi and President Muhammadu Buhari for their unwavering commitments towards actualising the payment of the much talked about SDA Major General Abdulafees Adewuyi on behalf of members said they have never had it so good.

The Minister’s meeting with the Veteran Community that featured presentation of the copies of Veteran Voice magazine to him is the second in the series with the first one held at MOD on 7th January 2022.

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