By Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja
The Nigerian Army on Tuesday declared that allegations by some faceless aggrieved personnel claiming the salaries and allowances of soldiers were being tampered with by the top brass of the force and for this, soldiers have threatened to embark on strike action as “vague and an attempt at causing disaffection among personnel”
The Army said it will not be deterred by any unpatriotic attempt, aimed at dwindling the morale of her personnel noting however that, “It is weird, that personnel of the NA, whose morale is considerably high under the command of the incumbent Chief of Army Staff, will make such allegations and threat, given the prioritised and prompt attention accorded soldiers’ welfare, including timely payment of their salaries and allowances by the current administration.
A statement to this effect and titled, “Allegations of Soldiers Being Shortchanged, Misguided, Untrue” was signed by the Director of Public Relations, Brig Gen Onyema Nwachukwu.
It said, “The Nigerian Army (NA) has noted with concern the report by some online media alleging that some “pseudo” aggrieved personnel wrote an open letter to the President, accusing the top brass of the Nigerian Army (NA) of corruption and extortion.
“More worrisome is the insinuation that soldiers have threatened to embark on strike; an action which is tantamount to mutiny in the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“Contrary to the report, the NA, as part of her effort to guard against fraudulent practices and entrench accountability and transparency in the system, subscribed to the Integrated Personnel Pay Roll System (IPPS) as directed by the Federal Government, since 2018 and this has facilitated flawless payment of salaries and allowances of personnel.
“The IPPIS does not permit any personnel access to payment processes.
“These processes undoubtedly, provide zero opportunity for anyone or group of persons to manipulate personnel entitlements.
“It is also important to state that the NA and sister services, jointly operate a Consolidated Armed Forces Salary Structure (CONAFSS), which is applicable to the Armed Forces of Nigeria in general.
“Therefore, what is applicable to personnel of other services (Nigerian Navy and Air Force), invariably applies to personnel of the NA.
“Suffice to state that personnel salaries and allowances are promptly and appropriately paid, without any form of shortchange.
“Therefore, the vague allegation of corruption and extortion clearly depicts a shallow understanding of the processes of payments of personnel salaries and allowances.
“As it stands presently, all monthly entitlements of personnel have been disbursed.
“The allegations contained in the anonymous letter are therefore a ridiculous attempt at disparaging the NA and causing disaffection among personnel.
“Though it is weird, that personnel of the NA, whose morale is considerably high under the command of the incumbent Chief of Army Staff, will make such allegations and threat, given the prioritised and prompt attention accorded soldiers’ welfare, including timely payment of their salaries and allowances by the current administration; the NA, as a professional institution, would however investigate the claims made in the report to establish its veracity and take appropriate action, where necessary.
“The NA wishes to state that it will not be deterred by any unpatriotic attempt, aimed at dwindling the morale of her personnel.
“Personnel of the NA are rest assured that the Chief of Army Staff’s innovative welfare programmes currently being implemented for Regimental Sergeant Majors down and their families, will be unmatched for posterity.”