New Telegraph

Retired military officers cry out over alleged illegal deductions from pensions

…urge the NSIWC to also probe 24 months pension arrears

Military pensioners have cried out over alleged illegal deductions from their pensions by the Military Pensions Board (MPB). The retired military officers had earlier in May appealed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the board with a view to determining why their monthly payment was always lower than what was approved by the Federal Government.

They had also alleged that the board was in the habit of delaying the implementation of the approved adjustments to their pay. Addressing journalists in Kano on Wednesday, spokesman for the Retired Army, Navy and Air Force Officers Association (RANAO), Captain Yusuf Abdulmalik (rtd), urged the National Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission (NSIWC) to probe the alleged deductions from their monthly allowances by the MPB.

Besides, the retired military officers demanded urgent inquiry into the delay in payment of 24 months’ pension arrears by the board. Abdulmalik lamented that the deductions had put retired officers under psychological pressure. According to him, the alleged abuse and manipulation of the Armed Forces Salary Structure template released by the NSIWC has made ex-servicemen and women to find it extremely difficult to enjoy their entitlements. Although, the Federal Government in April 2019 approved the Consequential Adjustment of the Gross Consolidated Armed Forces Salary Structure for military pensioners, the implementation of the directive only took effect from May 2021, leaving accumulative 24-month arrears unsettled.

The senior citizens insisted that no officer deserved to be cheated out of their pensions after serving the nation. Abdulmalik cited a similar experience during the Goodluck Jonathan government, where 53 percent increase in military pensions was approved, but said they were paid 33 percent. According to the spokesman, the balance unaccounted for.

He pleaded with the Federal Government to save them from being shortchanged by corrupt officials. Abdulmalik said: “Remember, when President Muhammad Buhari approved the consequential adjustment of the military pension in 2019, the implementation was meant to start immediate but that did not happen until May 2020.

Well, we thank God the implementation has finally started but actually abused our minds again is the discrepancies in payment. “This is besides the fact that the 24-month backlog is still hanging. The template is altered such that none of us gets what is due to us, meaning we are being paid far below what is slated in the template. “For instance, as a retired Captain, I should be entitled to earn over N3.5 million annually, which is equivalent to over N300,000.00 monthly. But you will be surprised my monthly allowance is far below N300,000 monthly. This is sad.

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