Paul Obi in Abuja
Following recent reports of protest by military troops over non-payment of their entitlement, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, tuesday warned senior military officers against any form of delay in the payment of salaries and entitlements of troops engaged in the fight against terrorism in the North-east.
The army chief gave the warning while declaring open a seminar on Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) for army personnel, in Abuja.
He contended that “prompt and accelerated payment of salaries and allowances to the fighting troops was one of the ways of boosting their morale.”
He stated that the objectives of the IPPIS were to ensure transparency, accountability and to improve the effectiveness of payroll administration in all the government ministries and agencies, he said the development would present new challenges in the management of troops’ salaries and allowances.
“I approve this seminar and know that the implementation of IPPIS in the military will present new challenges in the management of troops’ salaries and allowances.
“I am hereby charging the finance corps to ensure that the nuances of transition are well understood so as to continue to boost the morale of the fighting troops,” he said.
He said: “We understand that seamless, timely and regular payment of personnel salaries and allowances are an essential ingredient for the sustenance of morale of the troops.
“This is especially important towards the current ongoing efforts at consolidating on the counter-terrorism efforts in the north eastern part of the country and indeed all other operations around the country.
He described the seminar as “an important step aimed at the sensitisation of all the relevant stakeholders in the pending migration of the military’s payroll into IPPIS.
“The implementation must be seamless, in order to continue to sustain the morale of the fighting troops, “he maintained.
He further stated that migration into the IPPS was in compliance with the directive of the federal government, adding that it was the integral part of the macro-economic public sector financial reforms.
“It is commendable and will no doubt set the pace for the much needed acceleration for effectiveness in public service. We view this as a welcome development.
“We then directed all the steps to be taken to direct our payroll into the IPPIS. This aligns with my vision to have a professionally responsive Nigerian army in the discharge of its constitutional roles,” Burutai noted.
In another development, the collaboration between the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT) produced another batch of trained NAF Regiment personnel.
According to the Director of Information and Public Relations, Nigerian Air Force, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, “the graduands comprise five officers and 200 airmen who graduated recently from the Regiment Training Centre (RTC), Kaduna, having successfully undergone the five-month Basic Regiment Courses for officers and airmen respectively.
“The new graduands are expected to be deployed to the North-east to boost the current strength of personnel involved in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.”
He said: “The objective of the basic courses is to impart the participants with basic regiment skills and knowledge to enable them meet the complex demands of emerging security challenges.”