By Linus Aleke, Abuja
The Nigerian Army has denied the alleged diversion of rotation allowance, reportedly made by troops of the Nigerian Army deployed to provide security to Chinese nationals working at the ongoing Zungeru Hydro Electricity Dam Project in Niger state.
Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement, said that a preliminary investigation by the service revealed that troops deployed at the Chinese Company in Niger state have always been paid in tranches by the NA on receipt of the funds from the institution concerned.
Nwachukwu said that the welfare of troops, under the leadership of Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja,
takes a premium place amongst other important schemes and considerations, as it is one of the vital pillars of his Command Philosophy, which is to provide “Sound Administration” for personnel of the NA.
This is as the Nigerian Navy, on Monday raised alarm over fraudulent text messages informing applicants to report for military training at the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School (NNBTS), Onne, Rivers State, following their purported selection.
The Spokesperson of the Nigerian Navy, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, in a statement, said, that the criminals further claimed that the Exercise would commence on 6 October 2023.
According to the Nigerian Army, “The Headquarters Nigerian Army (NA) has been notified of a publication by some online media alleging corruption and diversion of troops’ Ration Cash Allowance (RCA) reportedly made by troops of the Nigerian Army deployed to provide security to Chinese nationals working at the ongoing Zungeru Hydro Electricity Dam Project in Niger state. In the claims, the troops alleged that they had not been paid their RCA for three months by their erstwhile General Officer Commanding Major General Alabi and Brigadier General Jamiu Jimoh. Much as the NA understands the concern raised by the online media regarding these allegations, we wish to state unequivocally that, under the leadership of Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, the welfare of troops takes a premium place amongst other important schemes and considerations, as it is one of the vital pillars of his Command Philosophy, which is to provide “Sound Administration” for personnel of the NA. The NA therefore has zero tolerance posture for any form of financial misappropriation and is strongly aversed to any action inimical to the morale of troops.
“However, contrary to the insinuations made in the online report, preliminary investigation reveals that troops deployed at the Chinese Company in Niger state have always been paid in tranches by the NA on receipt of the funds from the institution concerned. Accordingly, the last tranche payment of RCA by the affected institution for the troops deployed, elapsed on 28 February 2023. While the next tranche of payment is being processed, Army Headquarters has paid the troops covering the period 1 March – 30 June 2023 in a bid to ameliorate the operating conditions of the troops and keep them at par with deployments elsewhere. Additionally, to cushion the effect of the tranche mode of payment, provision was made to feed the troops daily and this has been a routine”.
General Nwachukwu said, the troops’ RCA was not diverted by any of the senior officers named in the publication or anyone else, as wrongly portrayed.
He added that the NA remains committed to upholding integrity, transparency, and accountability in the administration of the welfare of troops in all its operations and other endeavours.
The NA, he said, does not only recognize the importance of ensuring the welfare and well-being of its personnel but also appreciates its positive impact on their overall morale.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy, said, the fake text message being circulated by these dubious entities further reads, “Recruitment Interview conducted from 1 August 2023 – 1 September 2023, I am delighted to inform you that you have been selected to attend training at the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School Onne, Rivers State with effect from 1 March 2023, Please check www.joinnigeriannavy.com for further instructions”.
Another message, the statement said, indicated 6 October 2023 as the date of commencement of training.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Nigerian Navy (NN) has concluded the NNBTS Batch 35 Recruitment Exercise conducted from 12 August to 1 September 2023 across 3 major centres in the country namely: Lagos, Rivers, and Kaduna States respectively. Accordingly, the NN wishes to once again use this opportunity to inform members of the general public that the list of successful candidates has not been released and no form of invitation for training via text message has been disseminated by the NN. The alarming rate of circulation of fake information by unscrupulous individuals regarding enlistment/recruitment into the NN is quite worrisome and every effort is being made to track and arrest the miscreants,” the statement further said.