N18.4 billion has been approved by the Nigerian government to clear the backlog payment of group life assurance claims to the families of dead soldiers that had been outstanding since 2011.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja disclosed this on Tuesday in Enugu during his operational visit to the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army.
The army chief, however, charged troops to remain loyal, disciplined and dedicated to ensuring the elimination of all forms of criminality in the country.
The army chief urged troops not to be swayed by fabricated social media lies and misinformation, adding that the Nigerian Army had remained an embodiment of discipline.
He added that the army would not spare any soldier or officer found flaunting the constituted rule and law of their host community or state.
“You should not allow dissident/criminal groups to indoctrinate you to do wrong things and make wrong decisions," he warned.
Lagbaja also said that the army considers the welfare of its troops and their families as important, adding that it had prompted the inauguration of various projects with the headquarters and the Abakpa Military Cantonment.
He noted that the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in the country, Bola Tinubu was also working to ensure that the officers' and soldiers’ welfare remained a top priority.
“We are also addressing challenges that affect young families – we are talking about Command Secondary School, Command Primary School, water supply in our barracks, electricity, and even the welfare of our departed colleagues.
“The President has taken it upon himself to address the backlog of severance. You must have heard, over and over again, that he has approved the payment of the backlog of the group life assurance claim to the families of our departed colleagues that had been outstanding since 2011.
“So, he has approved N18.4 billion to clear that backlog. That will be done,” he said.
He promised that the Army High Command was poised to carry out massive renovations in barracks nationwide as part of its philosophy of sound administration.
According to him, the army on its own has instituted Group Personnel Accident Insurance to cover the gap if soldiers who are deployed on operations perhaps within Enugu or any other place have an accident.
“Then, the insurance company will pay claims. We are doing all these to cater for your welfare and well-being.
“However, as the saying goes, to whom much is given; much is expected. So, my charge to you is to remain loyal to the Constitution of Nigeria and the government of the day,” he said.
Lagbaja warned army personnel not to engage in illegal duties or get involved in civil matters that do not have any bearing or connection to their official duties, adding, “The army is too busy to engage in frivolities.”