Examining the Perks: Retirement Benefits for Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs

…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media. Retirement Benefits for Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs: Detailed Provisions and Concerns

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The retirement benefits for the outgoing Chief of Defence Staff and service chiefs in Nigeria have been outlined in a restricted document known as the Terms and Conditions of Service for Officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Retirement Benefits for the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs: According to the HTACOS (HTACOS 2017, revised from HTACOS 2012), retiring Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and service chiefs are entitled to various benefits.

These include a bulletproof SUV or equivalent vehicle to be replaced every four years, a backup vehicle such as the Peugeot 508, and a team of domestic aides comprising service cooks, stewards, and a civilian gardener.

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Additional Benefits and Personnel: The retirees also enjoy the services of an Aide-de-Camp/security officer, a special assistant or personal assistant, and a group of nine standard guards.

Furthermore, they are provided with three service drivers, a service orderly, and escorts from appropriate military units/formations when necessary.

Free medical cover in Nigeria and abroad is also included in their retirement benefits.

Retention of Military Uniforms and Firearms: The immediate past CDS and service chiefs are allowed to retain all military uniforms and accoutrements for appropriate ceremonies.

They are also permitted to possess personal firearms, although these firearms must be retrieved by the relevant services upon their death.

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Retirement Benefits for Different Ranks: The HTACOS outlines specific retirement benefits for officers of different ranks.

For example, Lieutenant Generals, Vice Admirals, and Air Marshals are entitled to two Peugeot 508 cars or one Toyota Land Cruiser, along with various domestic staff, guards, drivers, and medical coverage both in Nigeria and abroad.

Concerns and Delayed Implementation: Although the HTACOS underwent a review in 2022, it has not been signed due to perceived inequalities in benefit distribution.

The Chief of Defence Staff, with the President’s permission, must sign the document for it to take effect.

Additionally, concerns have been raised regarding the discretionary power of the President in extending the tenure of the CDS and service chiefs, which may result in potential unfair extensions.

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Extension of Tenure: Former President Muhammadu Buhari previously utilized the provision allowing for tenure extension to keep the service chiefs appointed in 2015 in their positions until their replacement in January 2021.

This practice has raised concerns about potential lack of rotation and fresh leadership within the military.

Voluntary Retirement Applications: In light of the appointment of new service chiefs, many Major Generals and equivalent ranks in the Navy and Air Force are expected to submit voluntary retirement applications by the designated deadline.

Conclusion: The retirement benefits provided to the Chief of Defence Staff and service chiefs in Nigeria are comprehensive, encompassing various vehicles, personnel, and medical allowances.

However, concerns regarding the discretionary extension of their tenure and delays in implementing the revised HTACOS have surfaced, highlighting the need for transparency and fairness in the process.

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