Indications have emerged of grumblings within the lower cadre rank or non commissioned officer (NCO) cadre of the Nigerian Army over huge disparities in the payment of salaries of soldiers as compared with salaries of Naval Ratings and Airmen.
For instance, following the commencement of the payment of the new minimum wage in January 2020, a Private Soldier was paid the sum of N50, 000 as salary, with only N2,000 increment from the previous N48,000 salary.
His colleagues in the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air Force received the sum of N74,000 each, receiving an increment of N23,000.
Consequently, soldiers have appealed to the federal and military authorities to look into the huge disparities and remedy the situation as the confusion is currently unsettling many of them.
A passionate letter in this regard written by a concerned soldier under condition of anonymity reads, “Military personnel of the Nigerian Army. We are tapping into every source available to make our voice heard.
“After the minimum wage was announced by the federal government of Nigeria, we expected an upgrade in the welfare of military personnel in terms of increase in salary.
“But only for us to receive January salary with only #2,000 added to our salary (Army), while our brothers in Navy and Air Force had almost #23,000 added to theirs.
“A Private in the Army was paid #50,000 from #48,000 while his rank equivalent in the Navy and Air Force were paid #74,000.
“How this increment was calculated is unknown to us, we don’t have access to our payslips. We aren’t paid any allowance at all.
“We have endured this for very long time now. Most of these bandits, robbers, kidnappers you are seeing are mostly military personnel that have left the job out of anger and frustration from corruption and wicked Generals.
“Please I don’t know how you can help us, let the whole nation know what we are passing through. There is grumbling and confusion silently going in the Army now.
“But fear of being charged or locked up for mutiny is what is making some to accept their fate.”
However, a senior officer, when contacted by Vanguard, disclosed that the Army authorities were aware of the anomaly but that the issue is being addressed and would be resolved soon.
Vanguard got the impression that the shortcomings may have arisen from challenges between the Office of the Accountant General of the federation, and the ministry of finance.