Buhari Approves N134bn for SDA of Military Veterans
The Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the payment of Security Debarment Allowance SDA, to the deserving retired Military Officers and Personel.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Defence Maj Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd) at a meeting he conveyed with the leadership of all cells of Veteran Associations held at Dr Ezekiel Oyemoni auditorium, Ministry of Defence Headquarters Abuja.
General Magashi said President Buhari has approved the sum of One Hundred and Thirty- Four Billion, Seven Hundred and Forty-Nine Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty-Three Thousand Two Hundred and Forty -Three Naira, Sixty- Nine Kobo (N134,749,953,243,69).
He explained further that the money is to be paid to those earlier excluded Veterans who retired earlier than 9th November, 2017.
The Defence Minister however told the obviously elated members of the veteran community that the outstanding SDA Allowance will be paid over a period of 3-5 years since government can not afford to pay in a tranche.
On modalities for payment, the Defence Minister however told the Veterans that the Ministry of Defence has taken steps to facilitate seamless payment of the SDA to qualified Veterans through the review of the effective date of the Manual for Financial Administration, MAFA 2017 to be handled by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) while the Verification of Veterans for the payment will be done by the Military Pensions Board MPB.
The Minister of Defence thereafter allowed members during the interactive questions and answer sessions to ventilate their views to which he cleared the air on issues raised.
They include date for the commencement of payment and the general concerns that 3-5 years timeline is too long to earn their entitlements for fear of death.
Other area of concern by the Veterans centered on Defence Health Insurance Scheme DHIS, to which the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Dr Ibrahim Abubakar Kana, mni allayed their fears that the ongoing reforms in the Military hospitals will take care of their desire for healthy living in retirement.
On his part the Chairman Nigerian Legion Maj Gen Abdulmalik Jibril (rtd) thanked the Minister of Defence for the success attained with the Presidential approval for the payment of SDA.
He explained that the Nigerian Legion is an umbrella body for all the veteran Association and must be recognised as such.
On a final note of appreciation to the retired General Magashi and President Muhammadu Buhari for their unwavering commitments towards actualising the payment of the much talked about SDA Major General Abdulafees Adewuyi onbehalf of members said they have never had it so good.
The Honourable Minister’s meeting with the Veteran Community that featured presentation of the copies of Veteran Voice magazine to him is the second in the series with the first one held at MOD on 7th January 2022.
Special Assistant to the Minister of Defence on Media and Publicity
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