The Armed Forces over the weekend retired 256 Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) who have reached the mandatory service years in the military, but not before they were trained for post-service life.
The soldiers comprising 116 from the Nigerian Navy (NN) and 140 Nigerian AirForce (NAF) were trained at the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC) Oshodi, Lagos, over a six-month period.
The training was tailored to assist the retirees adapt to civil life using business ideas and skills they learnt to be self reliant after retirement.
Meanwhile, NAFRC also graduated 21 mid-level commissioned officers comprising five from the army, six from the NN and 10 from NAF, who underwent a month entrepreneurship and management course.
The entrepreneurship course was tailored to equip them with relevant skills to successfully manage their respective service welfare schemes, improve their job performance and help them run successful businesses upon retirement from service.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonisakin assured the retirees that their benefits would be enhanced following the signing of the 2019 budget into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The CDS who was represented by the Chief of Administration Defence Headquarters, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman said: “The new budget when implemented will enhance your retirement package. The retirement package is geared towards ensuring that service personnel are properly resettled after dedicated service to our fatherland.
“As you are aware, the Federal Government is not relenting in its effort to improve the welfare of service personnel.
“It has vigorously stemmed the tide of corruption, while pursuing due process towards ensuring transparency, accountability and rule of law in order to stimulate durable socio-economic development for improved living standards of the society at large.
“It is also our hope that our gallant discharging servicemen and women are going to comfortably enjoy their post-service life and apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired.
“For our discharging compatriots in arms, you will henceforth take full charge as planners and executors of your personal daily activities. This may sound exciting and promising but beware; you need to properly manage your freedom in order to be successful.
“The society will expect a high moral standard and discipline from you. You will have to prove in your relationships that you passed through a highly disciplined system.
“As our ambassadors, I believe you are all capable of excelling in your future endeavours and positively influencing your environment for the economic development of our dear nation.”
He added that NAFRC’s reviewed curriculum has enabled both mid-level and senior officers to benefit from the rich repository of its courses, urging the commandant to “continue these laudable initiatives for high quality human resource development that will be gainful to our officers and the society at large.
“I understand that the officers’ courses are organised here in partnership with other organisations and institutions. The Defence Headquarters will continue to support you to build the capacity to fully run these courses at the centre with your in-house staff”.
In his welcome address, NAFRC Commandant, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Abubarkar-Sadick Liman urged the retirees to remain obedient to constituted authority and uphold discipline.
Listing some of the achievements recorded by the centre under his watch, he said: “We have reconstructed and renovated, equipped and commissioned over 31 projects in the centre since July 2018.
“Few of the projects are the remodeled and furnished B Coy Trainees accommodation, 16 renovated quarters for accommodation of personnel, new Electroplating and Hydrographics Workshop, new Auto Oven Spraying Booth, model NAFRC Ranch.
“New Quarter Guard and car park, FIIRO Road NAFRC Link Road and NAFRC-FIIRO Road Gate, children’s park among others were also achieved.
“These projects were designed to improve the living accommodation and training environment for trainees, staff and their families at the centre.”