Photo: Ex-Service Chiefs
Retired service chiefs to get 4 bulletproof SUVs, 20 domestic aides, soldiers
Nigeria’s outgone Chief of Defence Staff and service chiefs will receive significant retirement benefits, including bulletproof vehicles, personal assistants, guards, and generous overseas medical allowances.
This is according to the information gathered from a restricted document outlining the Terms and Conditions of Service for Officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
The retirees include the recent Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, along with other senior military leaders like Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, and Air Marshal Isiaka Amao.
Section 11.8 of the HTACOS 2017, a revised version of the HTACOS 2012, listed the benefits of a retiring CDS and service chiefs to include one bulletproof SUV or equivalent vehicle to be maintained by the service and to be replaced every four years; Peugeot 508 or equivalent backup vehicle; and five domestic aides made up of two service cooks, two stewards and a civilian gardener.
Each of them is also entitled to an Aide-de-Camp/security officer; special assistant of a lieutenant/captain or equivalent, or personal assistant of the rank of warrant officer or equivalent; and nine standard guards of nine soldiers.
The immediate past CDS and service chiefs are also entitled to three service drivers; one service orderly; escorts to be provided by the appropriate military units/formations as the need arises; and free medical cover in Nigeria and abroad.
They are also to retain all military uniforms and accoutrements to be worn for appropriate ceremonies, as well as personal firearms.
However, such firearms shall be retrieved by the relevant services upon the death of the beneficiaries.
Section 11.19 of the HTACOS 2017 also listed the retirement benefits of a Lieutenant General for the Nigerian Army, Vice Admiral for the Navy and Air Marshal for the Air Force to include two Peugeot 508 cars, or one Toyota Land Cruiser, two cooks, two stewards, four residential guards, one service orderly, two service drivers, free medical treatment in the country and abroad to the tune of $20,000 yearly.
In the HTACOS, however, the retirement benefits for a Major General in the Army, Rear Admiral in the Navy and Air Vice Marshal in Air Force, who are two-star officers, include one Peugeot 508, a cook, a steward, two residential guards, one service orderly, one service driver, free medicals in Nigeria and abroad to the tune of $15,000 per year.
Their one-star officers who are Brigadier Generals, Commodore and Air Commodore upon retirement are entitled to one Peugeot 408, a service driver, two residential guards, one service orderly and free medicals locally and abroad to the tune of $10,000 each.
For Colonels, Captains and Group Captains in the Army, Navy and Air Force, respectively, each of them is expected to go with a Peugeot 301 or another car of the same value and free medical cover in the country.
The document underwent a review in 2022 following a five-year period, but it wasn’t signed due to perceived inequality in benefit distribution.
The Punch reports that for it to take effect, the Chief of Defence Staff, with the President’s permission, needs to sign the document.
The current HTACOS in use specifies that the CDS and service chiefs must be four-star Generals and can hold the positions for a continuous period of two years and that the Commander-in-Chief can extend such appointments for another period of two years from the date of the expiration of the initial two-year period.
Despite the detailed provisions, the tenure of the CDS and service chiefs is left to the President’s discretion, raising concerns over potential unfair extensions.
The former President, Muhammadu Buhari, invoked this provision to extend the tenure of the service chiefs appointed in 2015 until their replacement in January 2021.
Meanwhile, many Major Generals and equivalence in the Navy and Air Force are expected to apply for voluntary retirement latest by Monday following the appointment of new service chiefs.