By Augustine Ehikioya
Worried by social media reports, the Nigerian Army has debunked the claims of corruption and diversion of Ration Cash Allowance (RCA) meant for troops deployed to Zungeru, Niger State.
The troops were in the area providing security to Chinese nationals working at the ongoing Zungeru Hydro Electricity Dam Project in the State.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General, Onyema Nwachukwu, and made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA).
It reads “The Headquarters Nigerian Army (NA) has been notified of a publication by some of the e online media alleging corruption and diversion of troops’ Ration Cash Allowance (RCA) reportedly made by troops of the Nigerian Army deployed to provide security to Chinese nationals working at the ongoing Zungeru Hydro Electricity Dam Project in Niger State.
“In the claims, the troops alleged that they had not been paid their RCA for three months by their erstwhile General Officer Commanding, Major General Alabi and Brigadier General Jamiu Jimoh.
“Much as the NA understands the concern raised by the online media regarding these allegations, we wish to state unequivocally that, under the leadership of Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, the welfare of troops takes a premium place amongst other important schemes and considerations, as it is one of the vital pillars of his Command Philosophy, which is to provide “Sound Administration” for personnel of the NA.
“The NA therefore has zero tolerance posture for any form of financial misappropriation and is strongly aversed to any action inimical to the morale of troops.”
It added “However, contrary to the insinuations made in the online report, preliminary investigation reveals that troops deployed at the Chinese Company in Niger State have always been paid in tranches by the NA on receipt of the funds from the institution concerned.
“Accordingly, the last tranche payment of RCA by the affected institution for the troops deployed, elapsed on 28 February, 2023.
“While the next tranche of payment is being processed, Army Headquarters has paid the troops covering the period 1 March – 30 June, 2023 in a bid to ameliorate the operating conditions of the troops and 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 any one else, as wrongly portrayed.
“Suffice to state, that the NA remains committed to upholding integrity, transparency and accountability in the administration of the welfare of troops in all its operations and other endeavours, as contained in the Command Philosophy of the Chief of Army Staff “To transform the NA into a well-trained, equipped and highly motivated force towards achieving our constitutional responsibilities within a joint environment”.
The NA, the statement said, does not only recognize the importance of ensuring the welfare and well-being of its personnel, but also appreciates its positive impact on their overall morale.