The Nigerian military on Saturday, December 21, have 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.
“As I join others in wishing you a prosperous and healthy future, I urge you to make good use of the skills you have acquired during your stay here. I wish to remind you, that as members of the Armed Forces, the Service or society you are going back to, expects much from you.
“It is therefore imperative that you uphold the professional ethics you have imbibed over the years by remaining obedient to constituted authority,” he said.
Liman who acknowledged that the centre had received tremendous support from the federal government, disclosed that over 56 projects have been remodelled/renovated, equipped and commissioned since July last year.
“These projects were designed to improve the living accommodation and training environment for trainees, staff and their families at the centre.
“Bofore I conclude this opening remarks, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, permit me to state that NAFRC has been a major beneficiary of the change Agenda of the Federal Government and we pray we also benefit from the Next Level agenda and beyond.
“It is worth noting that at no other time has the centre been given attention in terms of capital projects since inception like it has enjoyed in the past two years,” he said.
The Nation reports that high points of the event were the inauguration of about 14 capital projects including the 1,200 capacity hall, Delta Company hostel, as well as the receipt of mattresses and pillows donated to NAFRC by Mouka Foam.