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2017 Pensions Verification Exercise: 7, 000 Ex-Soldiers Commence Screening in Abuja; to block Leakages in Expenditures and Update Pensioners Records.

The Ministry of Defence in conjunction with the Military Pensions Board on Monday began the 2017 military pensions verification exercise for 7, 000 military pensioners in Abuja area with the aim of blocking leakages, updating pensioners records and improving ex-soldiers database.

Minister of Defence, Mansur Muhammad Dan Ali while flagging off of the verification exercise stated that the pensions exercise is also being conducted by the ministry of Defence to re-appraise the effectiveness of military pension’s administration with a view to making improvements.

The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Hajia Nuratu Batagarawa, noted that it is also aimed at elimination deceased and fake pensioners from the system.

He said, “The military pensions verification exercise is conducted simultaneously in all the 36 states of the federation and FCT at designated military formations and some non-military formations”.

Dan Ali used the occasion to appreciate the courage and sacrifices of some of the pensioners who participated in the Second World War, the Nigerian Civil war, Peace Support Operations around the world and Internal Security Operations.

“These sacrifices have no doubt kept the world a safer place and in particular, Nigeria together and united” he said.

Sub-Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Pensions Appropriation, Hon. Abubakar Sarki Dahiru in his address, stated that he was at the verification exercise to carry out oversight and ensure that budget for military pensions is well utilized.

Hon Dahiru said his committee was aware of the challenges facing the military pensions’ board administration which got only N150million allocation in the 2017 budget instead of N350million noting that the money was grossly inadequate.

He disclosed that for the 2018 budget, the sum of N500million has been appropriated by his committee to enable the board meet up with its responsibilities.

 Chairman, Military Pensions Board, Brigadier General Adesope explained that the 7, 000 pensioners expected for the exercise are expected to provide relevant documents before an update of each pensioner’s record will be carried out and thereafter, a biometric finger print verification will be done.

“Some of the documents to be presented by the pensioners include record of service, discharge certificates, retired officer’s identity card, pension advice, etc.” he said.

Brigadier General Adesope and his Directors of Army, Navy and Airforce Pensions physically supervised the verification after the flag off at the Mogadishu Cantonment, by the minister of Defence representation, Hajia Nuratu Batagarawa.

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