The immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai (retd.), former Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin (retd.); and the two other retired service chiefs would serve as ambassadors for the country without salaries, according to the 2017 revised military conditions of service.
SaharaReporters confirmed that the 2017 Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service for Officers stipulate that Buratai, Olonisakin, former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas (retd.) and former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retd.), would not get salaries from any public office they hold, so that they could be entitled to their military retirement benefits.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on February 4 announced the nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors, a decision which was greeted with widespread condemnation.
The former service chiefs were appointed as non-career ambassadors-designate only a week after they were fired by the President.
SaharaReporters learnt from the 2017 HTACOS that the revised military rules state that the former service chiefs would either forfeit their military retirement benefits for their new public posts, or take the posts without salaries to be entitled to their military benefits.
They will however be entitled to allowances commensurate with their new office, according to the terms and conditions for officers.
SaharaReporters was told by military sources that the former service chiefs would rather opt for the “juicy military retirement benefits”.
The 2017 HTACOS in Section 11.17, Page 40, titled, “Retirement Benefit for CDS and Service Chiefs” reads, “11.17. A CDS, Service Chief, Lt Gen/equivalents Maj Gen/equivalents, Brig Gen/equivalents and Cols/equivalents who is not on active service shall be entitled to the benefits mentioned in Paragraph 11.18 – 11.21 of this document if he has not taken up any other appointment to be paid for from public funds except if so appointed by the President of the Federal Republic Nigeria.
“When so appointed, the appointment shall only attract allowances commensurate with such post and not a salary.”
On February 23, the Senate, despite opposition to their confirmation from several quarters, had confirmed the nominations of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors.
SaharaReporters had on January 21 exposed how the former service chiefs would be awarded four Sport Utility Vehicles, four Peugeot vehicles, among other juicy retirement benefits, according to the revised military conditions.
It was also revealed that the military chiefs would get security staff of over 40 soldiers as well as domestic and foreign medical cover.
“Retirement benefits for CDS and service chiefs; the following benefits shall be applicable; one bullet-proof SUV or equivalent vehicle to be maintained by the Service and to be replaced every four years. Two; Peugeot 508 or equivalent back up vehicle; three, retention of all military uniform and accoutrement to be worn for appropriate ceremonies.
“Also, five domestic aides (two Service cooks, two stewards and a civilian gardener); an Aide-de-Camp/Security Officer; a Special Assistant of Lieutenant or Captain or equivalents or Personal Assistant; also, a Standard Guard of nine soldiers.
“Three Service Drivers; one Service Orderly; escorts (to be provided by appropriate Military units/ formation as the need arises; retention of personal firearms (on his demise the personal firearm(s) shall be retrieved by the relevant Service and also; a free medical cover in Nigeria and abroad,” the HTACOS 2017 reads.