The military at the weekend retired 527 soldiers, ratings and airmen from service with a charge to remain committed, loyal and patriotic to the Nigerian State.
The retirees, comprising 228 from the Nigerian Army (NA), 118 from the Nigerian Navy (NN) and 181 trainees from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), underwent a six month preparatory and skills acquisition training at the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC) Oshodi, to equip them with needed tools for easy reintegration into civil livelihoods.
Speaking at a combined graduation ceremony for the retirees and 27 mid-level officers trained at the centre on entrepreneurship and management, Defence Minister Bashir Magashi reiterated the federal government’s commitment for improved welfare for the military.
Magashi said it was imperative to inform discharged personnel of inherent challenges of post service life such as inadequate resources, misuse of benefits, poor management of mental and physical health, among others, advising them to take proactive steps to avoid falling victims.
He said the government appreciated the sacrifices of service personnel, adding that commendable efforts have been made in the area of security. “Security has been a problem in this country, things were going from bad to good at one time, now it is from good to better and I think very soon the Nigerian people will be very happy with the progress of things,” he said.
According to the minister, government was ensuring due process, transparency and accountability in all its activities, adding that the ministry would continue to provide needed support to the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).
Earlier, NAFRC Commandant Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Abubakar-Sadick Liman, said the centre’s mission was to impart high quality training in vocational, entrepreneurship and management to personnel of the AFN who are still in service and those about to exit from active service of the nation.
“Accordingly, we play a very crucial role in preparing military personnel for economically useful life after service. We are graduating a total of 27 mid-level officers and 527 servicemen and women of the AFN who have successfully completed their courses in the centre. Our graduating participants comprise of five officers from the Nigerian Army, six officers from the Nigerian Navy and 10 officers from the Nigerian Air Force.”