…NAF debunks rumoured purge in service
There is no truth in the allegation that authorities of Nigerian Army had, in the last 17 months, been engaging in illegal deductions from soldiers salaries as alleged by some of them. This were the words of Director of Army Information (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman.
In a letter to the Director of Army Finance and Accounts, the soldiers want the authorities to unravel the mystery behind the deductions that has been on for up to 17 months. They also alleged that despite being promoted, they have not seen any significant improvement in their salaries to reflect their new ranks.
The soldiers in their letter, specifically mentioned that a staff sergeant, who is on a monthly salary of N73, 500 gets N8, 500 deducted monthly from his salary. Also, sergeants hitherto earning N65, 000 now earn N58, 000 monthly after a deduction of N7, 000.
It added that some soldiers were promoted since September 1, 2014, but that this had not reflected in their salaries.
In the same vein, the authorities of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has denied a newspaper (Not Daily Times) publication on planned retirement of officers from the service.
Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPR), Group Capt. Ayodele Famuyiwa, denied the report in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
The soldiers letter stated that corporals entitled to N58, 000 monthly, now earn N52, 000, just as lance corporals get N49 000 instead of N52,000. The soldiers are asking Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, the chief of army staff, to help them unravel the reason for these deductions. Sahara Reporters said some of the affected soldiers serving in 1 Brigade Sokoto, 35 battalion, and 3 Brigade Kano disclosed that the soldiers were angry over the deductions. The report quoted a soldier as saying: “I am a corporal, and my monthly salary, which is supposed to be N58, 000, 00 has been slashed to N52, 000.”
They are asking the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai to get to the root of the matter.
But in a telephone chat with the Daily Times, Col. Sani debunked the claim saying that no fraudulent practice would occur under the new army leadership.
Said he: “There must be some ignorance from the so-called soldiers. There is a procedure in the Army in everything we do.
“To say soldiers’ salaries are being deducted is like committing blasphemy. You don’t do that kind of thing especially now under this COAS. They (affected soldiers) should have confidence in the system. If they say one month salary was deducted, it could be understood.
“We used to have problems with many soldiers’ documentation especially those serving in the North East.
“When this COAS came on board, he unraveled that there is fraud with soldiers’ emoluments. He decided that everybody gets his salary as at when due. What people should know is that some of the soldiers often give wrong account numbers. Some changed account numbers. Soldiers have confessed that they made mistake. So, to correct these take times, but that some illegal deductions are made now, it is absolutely impossible.”