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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Ex-Navy Officers Threaten To Storm Headquarters In Protest Over Unpaid Allowances

Owing to the non-payment of terminal leave and packing allowances, some retired personnel of the Nigerian Navy have vowed to storm the headquarters of the service in protest.

The 1984 set Naval personnel who retired in 2020 fumed over their endless wait to get their owed allowances while those who retired after them had been paid.

According to them, they had written to the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, on three occasions and visited the national headquarters to call his attention to their plight, adding that all had been to no avail.

The aggrieved retirees in a letter dated March 16 by the Coalition Of Concerned Veterans, obtained by newsmen on Tuesday, urged the CNS to pay up to avoid a ‘historic embarrassment of protest’ at the headquarters.

The letter read,  “The leadership of the Coalition Of Concerned Veterans humbly bring to the notice of the Chief Of Naval Staff, two previous letters were written on the above subject and regret to observe that nothing practicable has been done to address the issues, despite our visit to the Naval Headquarters to meet with the Director Veterans affairs (NN) and the Chief Of Account and budgeting in June 2022.

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“We are aware of the great achievements of the Chief Of Naval staff in his quest to reposition the service and better the lots of personnel under his command but also regret that some top officials at the headquarters want to give his administration a bad name in the twilight of his stewardship, despite all efforts as well as unofficially Intervention by top officials of the MOD to address the issue.

“It is not our intension to cause the Chief Of Naval Staff a “historic embarrassment” of protest to the Naval Headquarters, as we did to the Ministry of Defence in September 2022. We hope reasons will prevail to discourage our assemblage at the Headquarters gate of the Naval complex in a few weeks if our request/demands are not shortest possible time.”

The Navy spokesperson, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, when contacted disclosed the willingness of the service to pay the retirees, adding that some technicalities to ascertain if they are qualified for the allowances must first be resolved.

He said, “Concerning your inquiry, there is a need to understand the background of the issue. Sometimes in 2019, there was the manual of financial administration for Armed Forces of Nigeria was released and eventually took effect in 2020.  These categories of personnel left the service before the document which had in it some of the allowances they said we owed them.

“They retired from the service before there were appropriate resources to back up some of the allowances indicated in this document which was signed by the president.  Also, there are technicalities as to whether or not they are beneficiaries of the allowance contained in the document which came to be at about the time they left the service and which was eventually implemented when they had left the service.  That is the issue.  It is not that we are not desirous of paying them.”

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