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EXPOSED: Eight Months after Deployment to Zamfara, NAF Yet to Pay Officers Allowance

EXPOSED: 8 Months after Deployment to Zamfara, NAF Yet to Pay Officers Allowance

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been accused of delaying the combat allowance of personnel deployed to Zamfara State on operation for eight months.

The current officers were deployed to the state on May 29, 2023, and were paid for two months, June and July 2023. Since then, the officers have yet to receive any allowance.

On Tuesday, April 16, 2024, a source told West Africa Weekly that all efforts to reach the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall HB Abubakar and the Chief of Training Operations (CTOP) of the NAF, AVM A Abdulkadir, yielded no results. According to the source,

“We were deployed on May 29th, 2023, for operations in Zamfara State. We were meant to receive a monthly Combat allowance from the Nigerian Air Force, but since we resumed operations, they only paid us twice, in June and July 2023, and since then, till date, we haven’t received anything.”

Furthermore, “We made efforts to call the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal HB Abubakar, only to give us positive hope but without stating any reason for the non-payment still, nothing has been done,” the source added.

Meanwhile, the Manual of Financial Administration for the Armed Forces of Nigeria (2017) stated that any personnel deployed must receive an operation allowance for internal security operations at N5,000 per day.

However, “The operation allowance is N5,000 per day amounting to N150,000 monthly, but they usually divide it into two, payable to personnel’s accounts, and they use the other half, N75,000, to buy souvenirs and service support,” the source said.

West Africa Weekly gathered that the situation was not the same before the current batch was deployed to the state, and their spokesperson is usually threatened by senior officers whenever they try to inquire about their allowances.

“Whenever we try to enquire about it (allowance), they’ll threaten the officer speaking on our behalf, and he’ll remain silent because they are senior men like AVM A Abdulkadir, the CTOP. The last time we complained to him, he sent a signal about our operation allowance eligibility. However, we’re still not paid to date without any tangible reason,” the source told WAW.

Leaked NAF Memo on personnel’s allowance eligibility

According to the memo by the CTOP, the troops were eligible for the combat allowance. However, it is still unclear why their payment is being delayed.

While the NAF has failed to pay its personnel the mandatory allowance, it also established a social media policy designated as the ‘Armed Forces Act’, which forbids personnel from participating in any form of protest.

Due to the unpaid allowance, the personnel are left to fend for themselves, particularly on food and water.

“There is no good feeding. We usually contribute money here in my location to pump water, and the same is true for other locations in the operation. We’ve written letters, but nothing has come out.”

Our source revealed that the Nigerian military is corrupt beyond imagination, and personnel are silenced by media policies which are protecting the image of the army. The situation has depleted their morale while leaving them vulnerable to attacks from bandits in the region.

We are not even effective anymore. Bandits do as they wish around us here but we can’t go after them because there’s not enough fuel in our vehicles to do so,” he said.

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