Army headquarters on Monday dismissed reports of corruption and diversion of troops’ Ration Cash Allowance (RCA), allegedly made by troops providing security for Chinese nationals working on the Zungeru Hydroelectricity Dam project in Niger.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, stated in Abuja that the allegation was published in some online platforms.
He stated that the publication claimed that the troops alleged that their erstwhile General Officers Commanding, Maj.-Gen. Bamidele Alabi and Brig.-Gen. Jamiu Jimoh did not pay their RCAs for three months.
“Contrary to insinuations made in the online report, troops deployed at the Chinese company in Niger have always been paid in tranches upon receipt of funds from the relevant institution.
“The last tranche payment of RCA to the troops by the affected institution elapsed on Feb. 28.
“The next tranche of payment is being processed.
“Army Headquarters has paid the troops for March to June to ameliorate their operating conditions and to 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.
“The troops’ RCA was, therefore, not diverted by any of the senior officers named in the publication or by anyone else, as wrongly portrayed,’’ Nwachukwu stated.
He added that while the Nigerian Army understood concerns raised in the allegations, the army under Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja had remained committed to troops’ welfare.
“Welfare of troops takes a premium place amongst other important schemes and considerations as it is one of the pillars of Lagbaja’s Command Philosophy, which is to provide `sound administration’ of personnel.
“The Nigerian Army, therefore, has zero tolerance for any form of financial misappropriation and is strongly averse to any action inimical to the morale of troops,’’ Nwachukwu stressed.
He added that the Nigerian army had remained committed to upholding integrity, transparency and accountability in the administration of the welfare of troops in all its operations and in other endeavours.
This, according to him, is as contained in the Command Philosophy of the Chief of Army Staff.
The philosophy is: “to transform the Nigerian Army into a well-trained, equipped and highly motivated force towards achieving our Constitutional responsibilities within a joint environment.’’
Nwachukwu stressed also that the Nigerian army does not only recognise the importance of welfare and well-being of its personnel, it also appreciates the positive impact of morale on their wellbeing.