With N46,000 Salary, We Now Take To Oil Bunkering, Robbery, Kidnapping To Survive – Nigerian Army Personnel Write Tinubu

According to the sergeant, the Nigerian government has failed to improve welfare package for military officers as a gesture to show appreciation for their efforts in securing the country....READ FULL ARTICLE

A soldier with the Nigerian Army has lamented the poor salaries of his colleagues, the junior army personnel in the country.

According to the sergeant, the Nigerian government has failed to improve welfare package for military officers as a gesture to show appreciation for their efforts in securing the country.

He added that salaries of junior army personnel was last increased by late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s administration.

Yar’Adua was elected as Nigerian President in 2006 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and died on May 5, 2010.

The aggrieved personnel in an open letter to President Bola Tinubu, obtained by SaharaReporters on Tuesday noted that to meet financial needs, soldiers now got “involved in illegal duties, oil bunkering, arms and ammunition deal, armed robbery and kidnapping”.

The letter titled, “OPEN LETTERS TO ADDRESS OUR SUFFERING IN THE NIGERIAN ARMY” urged the President to attend to their plight.

The soldier further asked Tinubu to thoroughly investigate happenings in the army, particularly issues involving and affecting the rank and file.

“Sir, with due respect, I hereby open up to you on how we are from the Army Authorities, this very letter is about our current challenges within the Army alone, not Nigerian Navy nor Nigerian Air Force.

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“We have lost our morale already, in the Army today, all the Generals are only after their families, they are less concerned about the solutions to the current insecurity in Nigeria.

Most of these insecurity challenges that we are facing today have these army Generals behind them, so they can keep seeing free money that can’t be accounted for.

“Secondly the salaries of the junior soldiers need to be addressed. Among all the security agencies in Nigeria today, army junior personnel are the ones being paid the lowest. So we need a proper review of our salaries as junior soldiers are now involved in illegal duties, oil bunkering, sabotage, arms and ammunition deal, armed robbery and kidnapping.

“Since 2008 that late President Yar’dua increased our salaries, nothing has been added to it till date, that was 16 years ago. Private soldiers still collect N46,657,67. Sir, Lance Corporals are being paid N50,139.90, Corporals collect N51,980.89 while Sergeants take home N56,798.70 only monthly.

“Mr President, Staff Seageant are still being paid N67,585.46, Warrant Officers collect 87,900.57 while Master Warrant Officers after over 30 years in service are paid N130,976.20 monthly in this current economy.”

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SaharaReporters last December reported how the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, said that soldiers and military officers earn less than N50,000 as monthly salaries while Generals and soldiers on operations get N1,200 for feeding daily.

The CDS had disclosed this during an interview where he said that Nigerian soldiers and military officers were doing well and therefore should be paid salaries that were worth the jobs to encourage them to do more.

SaharaReporters has done several reports on soldiers lamenting poor feeding, poor salaries, poor medical treatment and poor welfare packages in general despite abandoning their families, putting their lives on the line with massive promises by the Nigerian government.

On December 11, SaharaReporters reported how troops attached to 145 Taskforce Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Damasak, Borno State for Operation Hadi Kai lamented the alleged misuse of power against their rights by their Commanding Officer.

The soldiers who spoke on condition of anonymity over fear of victimization also lamented acute hunger.

The soldiers who lamented that they were not being properly fed, called for the immediate intervention of President Bola Tinubu and military chiefs to address the issue of poor treatment of soldiers on the front lines, sacrificing their lives daily.

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Apart from not being given good food, the soldiers lamented that many of their colleagues had been killed by terrorists because the military lacked adequate firepower and equipment to combat the insurgents.

In what seems to be the affirmation of the claims made by the soldiers, the Chief of Defence Staff said, “The issue of ration cash allowance where we feed, any time we are on operations, I, as a General I’m being fed on N1,200 per day with my soldiers, from the first General to the last soldier, the same amount. That is what we manage with.

“My soldiers collect less than N50,000 for a salary a month. We all know the situation on ground. My appeal is for them to have salaries that are worth the work they are doing. We deserve to have that so that it will encourage them to do more.

“We have a lot of them that have been injured, families separated for a very long time. These are the morale aspect of it that we check to actually ginger the troops to want to do more.”...READ FULL ARTICLE

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