According to the Pensions Act and the Harmonized Terms and Conditions of Service for the Armed Forces of Nigeria, only ex-soldiers with 15 years of service are eligible for pensions, according to Nigeria’s Military Pensions Board (MPB).
The answer comes after threats of protest from an organization named “First Intake Able Voluntary Retired or Discharged Ten or More Years Military Service” and allegations of unwillingness to pay monthly pensions to ex-civil war veterans.
According to the group, the Board has neglected to enrol them on the pension payroll since they were dismissed from the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) 44 years ago.
However, in response, Military Pensions Board Flight Lieutenant Olayinka Lawal, the public relations officer, stated that the assertion was “an utter falsehood and should be rejected by the public.”
“The Board wishes to emphasize unequivocally that its actions are governed by the Pensions Operate and the Harmonized Terms and Conditions of Service for the Armed Forces of Nigeria, and that the Board would not act in contravention of the provisions of these statutes,” he said.
“It is important to note, for the avoidance of doubt, that some members of this group have previously complained to the Military Pensions Board, and the Board has made it clear to them that they are not entitled to monthly pension payments because they did not serve the required 15 years as stipulated by the Pensions Act at the time of their retirement.”
“Board investigations found that the bulk of the members of this group retired from the AFN between 1 June 1977 and 31 May 1992.”
“During this era, a retiree must serve in the military for a minimum of 10 years and for a duration of not less than 15 years to qualify for payment of monthly pensions,” he explained.
According to a template received by the Leadership, the following are the categories of retired military members based on their exit dates:
1st category Category 1 retired on or before May 31, 1977, category 2 retired between June 1, 1977, and May 31, 1992, and category 3 retired after May 31, 1992. From 1 June 1992 to the present.
According to the Pension Act, pensioners who retired on or before May 31, 1977, must have served in the AFN for at least 10 years before they are eligible for monthly pensions in addition to gratuity. However, if they served up to or for more than 5 years but not up to 10 years, they will only get a one-time payment known as gratuity. The same is true for categories 2 and 3.
The board, on the other hand, utilized the instance of the group’s leader, 63NA/21654 Ex-Sargent Kasali Busari, who joined the Nigerian Army on 23 July 1967 and resigned on 21 May 1978 after serving for 10 years and 303 days.
“He received an extended service time of 2 years and 177 days as a bonus for his participation in the Nigerian Civil War.” As a result, his total service years were 13 years and 215 days.
“While this falls short of the requisite 15 years prescribed in the Pensions Act to qualify for payment of monthly pensions at the time,” he added, “he was entitled for gratuity and was paid appropriately.”
As a result, the board asked all media organizations to always seek verification from the board before reporting on retirees’ accusations of non-payment of pensions.