Retired soldiers protest, fault claims on pen
Retired military men yesterday staged peaceful protest in Kano against Federal Government’s failure to pay their pension arrears.
The ex-service men equally said it is total falsehood the claim by the military pension board that the retirees have started receiving their pension arrears that accumulated from the 53 per cent increase.
Chairman of Military Pension Board Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Rabiu Dabo had recently announced that the board has commenced payment of the ex-service pension arrears. The chairman also hinted that the entitlement of soldiers who died in active service between 2011 and 2013 are being paid to their next of kin.
Addressing journalists in Kano shortly after their peaceful demonstration, Publicity Officer of the retired soldiers under the umbrella of Retired Army, Navy and Air Force Officers Association, retired Captain Yusuf Abdulmaliq lamented the suffering of military retirees, maintaining that their pension arrears was never a privilege but their rights that ought to be paid without pressure.
The Guardian recalls that the Federal Government in 2010 approved upward review of 53 per cent consolidated military salaries scheme for both servicing and retired military men. But the retired military men could not benefit the new wage until 2013 when Federal Government started implementation of the 33 per cent of the pension wages. The Federal Government posited that 20 per cent slash was meant for tax and contributing pension for the Federal Housing Scheme.
However, Captain Abdulmaliq kicked against the withholding of the 20 per cent, insisting that military pensioners are not required by law to pay tax. He also dissociated self from the housing scheme.
Captain Abdulmaliq said “our serious demands now are immediate payment of full arrears of 33 per cent slashed and restoration of our 53.3 per cent increase of 2010. We also demand harmonize of our pension rate in consonance with the serving colleagues.
“Our attention has been drawn to the claim of the chairman of military pension board which said they have started paying us. Well, I will like to inform you that we have not receive any money in Kano. We hope federal government and the presidency will intervene on this issue,” Abdulmaliq lamented.
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