By Augustine Ehikioya
Reacting to what it called fake news, the Nigerian Army has debunked online reports alleging that some soldiers are being shortchanged in the system.
It asserted that the Integrated Personnel Pay Roll System (IPPS) and the Consolidated Armed Forces Salary Structure (CONAFSS) being operated by the Nigerian Army and sister agencies do not leave room for anyone or group to manipulate soldiers’ entitlement.
A statement issued on Tuesday by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, and made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA), described the online report as misguided and untrue.
It reads “The Nigerian Army (NA) has noted with concern the report by some online media alleging that some “pseudo” aggrieved personnel wrote an open letter to the President, accusing the top brass of the Nigerian Army (NA) of corruption and extortion.
“More worrisome is the insinuation that soldiers have threatened to embark on strike; an action which is tantamount to mutiny in the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“Contrary to the report, the NA, as part of her effort to guard against fraudulent practices and entrench accountability and transparency in the system, subscribed to the Integrated Personnel Pay Roll System (IPPS) as directed by the Federal Government, since 2018 and this has facilitated flawless payment of salaries and allowances of personnel.
“The IPPIS does not permit any personnel access to payment processes. These processes undoubtedly, provide zero opportunity for anyone or group of persons to manipulate personnel entitlements.”
The statement went on “It is also important to state that the NA and sister services, jointly operate a Consolidated Armed Forces Salary Structure (CONAFSS), which is applicable to the Armed Forces of Nigeria in general.
“Therefore, what is applicable to personnel of other services (Nigerian Navy and Air Force), invariably applies to personnel of the NA.
“Suffice to state that personnel salaries and allowances are promptly and appropriately paid, without any form of shortchange.
“Therefore, the vague allegation of corruption and extortion clearly depicts a shallow understanding of the processes of payments of personnel salaries and allowances.”
It added “As it stands presently, all monthly entitlements of personnel have been disbursed. The allegations contained in the anonymous letter are therefore a ridiculous attempt at disparaging the NA and causing disaffection among personnel.”
Stressing that the anonymous letter is weird, the statement noted, that the morale of the personnel under the command of the incumbent Chief of Army Staff, is considerably high.
It doubted if such allegations and threat can ever arise “given the prioritised and prompt attention accorded soldiers’ welfare, including timely payment of their salaries and allowances by the current administration.”
The statement, however, said the NA, as a professional institution, would investigate the claims made in the report to establish its veracity and take appropriate action, where necessary.
The NA, according to the statement, also said that it will not be deterred by any unpatriotic attempt, aimed at dwindling the morale of her personnel.
“Personnel of the NA are rest assured that the Chief of Army Staff’s innovative welfare programmes currently being implemented for Regimental Sergeant Majors down and their families, will be unmatched for posterity,” it stated.