The viral allegation that soldiers of the Nigerian Army have not been paid by the army authorities under the former Chief of the Army Staff, retired Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, has been described as ‘total falsehood’, Wikirise News reports.
There were reports that some soldiers have already called for a probe on how their Uniform and Boots Allowance and Scarce Skills Allowance approved by President Muhammadu Buhari since November 2017, were not paid.
However, sources in the Nigerian Army stated that the information was farther from the truth while itemizing several welfare packages introduced by General Buratai as former COAS which were not covered by the Manual of Financial Administration (MAFA).
These, the sources added, include massive infrastructural developments across the various army formations in the country as well as many community development projects and services, which were undertaken under the Buratai leadership.
The issues as enumerated by the Nigerian Army sources stated that it was the former COAS who introduced the Boots and Uniform Allowance before it was incorporated in the 2017 MAFA.
Although, the MAFA was approved in November 2017, sources said that there was no financial appropriation to back it until 2020 when partial funding was granted.
The sources added that the Scarce Skill Allowance and some other allowances were not implemented 100% due to funding constraints, noting that an implementation strategy was adopted by all the Services and Defence Headquarters to ensure equity, fairness and transparency.
Investigations, however, revealed that there have been many MAFAs which was essentially a guide of military non-regular allowances subject to appropriation, but none succeeded in the level of implementation as the 2017 MAFA which achieved almost 80%.
The 2017 MAFA remains the most robust welfare for the Armed Forces since inception and the initiative was introduced under the leadership of the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff and other service chiefs.
While the National Assembly was also commended for its support in appropriation of funds despite the prevailing economic challenges the country is facing, the Army sources said it was only fair that General Tukur Buratai alone was not singled out on such issues of national importance that cuts across the armed forces.