The Nigerian military on Friday retired 256 Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) who have reached the mandatory service years in the Armed Forces.
The soldiers comprising 116 from the Nigerian Navy (NN) and 140 Nigerian AirForce (NAF) exited the military from the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC) Oshodi, where they underwent a six-month pre-retirement training.
The training was aimed to assist the retirees adapt to civil life, business ideas and skills they would need to be self-reliant such as tailoring and plumbing.
Aside the retirees, NAFRC also graduated 21 mid-level Commissioned Officers comprising five Army, six NN and 10 NAF who underwent a month entrepreneurship and management course to equip them with relevant skills to successfully manage their respective service welfare schemes, improve their job performance and help them run successful businesses upon retirement from service.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin assured the retirees that their benefits would be enhanced following the signing of the 2019 budget into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The new budget when implemented will enhance your retirement package. The retirement package is geared towards ensuring that service personnel are properly resettled after dedicated service to our fatherland. “As you are aware, the Federal Government is not relenting in its effort to improve the welfare of service personnel. It has vigorously stemmed the tide of corruption, while pursuing due process towards ensuring transparency, accountability and rule of law in order to stimulate durable socio-economic development for improved living standards of the society at large.
“It is also our hope that our gallant discharging servicemen and women are going to comfortably enjoy their post-service life and apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired.
“For our discharging compatriots in arms, you will henceforth take full charge as planners and executors of your personal daily activities. This may sound exciting and promising but beware; you need to properly manage your freedom in order to be successful.
“The society will expect a high moral standard and discipline from you. You will have to prove in your relationships that you passed through a highly disciplined system. “As our ambassadors, I believe you are all capable of excelling in your future endeavours and positively influencing your environment for the economic development of our dear nation,” said the CDS who was represented by the Chief of Administration Defence Headquarters, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman.
He said NAFRC’s reviewed curriculum has enabled both mid-level and senior officers to benefit from the rich repository of its courses, urging the Commandant to “continue these laudable initiatives for high quality human resource development that will be gainful to our officers and the society at large.
“I understand that the officers’ courses are organised here in partnership with other organisations and institutions. The Defence Headquarters will continue to support you to build the capacity to fully run these courses at the centre with your in-house staff,” said Olonisakin.
In his welcome address, NAFRC Commandant Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Abubarkar-Sadick Liman urged the retirees to remain obedient to constituted authority and uphold discipline.
Listing some of the achievements recorded by the centre under his watch, he said: “We have reconstructed and renovated, equipped and commissioned over 31 projects in the centre since July 2018.
“Few of the projects are the remodelled and furnished B Coy Trainees accommodation, 16 renovated quarters for accommodation of personnel, new Electroplating and Hydrographics Workshop, new Auto Oven Spraying Booth, model NAFRC Ranch.
“New Quarter Guard and Car Park, FIIRO Road NAFRC Link Road and NAFRC-FIIRO Road Gate, Children’s Park among others were also achieved.
“These projects were designed to improve the living accommodation and training environment for trainees, staff and their families at the centre.”