In a bid to sustain the existing cordial relationship between the Military Pensions Board (MPB) and veteran bodies of military retirees in the country, the new Chairman of the Board, Commodore SA Lawal, on Tuesday 6 October 2020, held an interactive session with representatives of 14 veteran bodies at the MPB Headquarters in Abuja.

In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Board, Commodore Abayomi Lawal, emphasized the importance of dialogue and exchange of ideas between the Board and the veteran bodies. According to him, their
wouldn’t have been a MPB if there are no military pensioners. He added that the cooperation of all veteran bodies is key to his vision of taking the Board to higher levels.

He said he will do all in his power to sustain prompt payment of all entitlements of military retirees or their NOKs in a transparent and accountable manner and to uphold principles of fairness and service to
humanity in the discharge of the Board’s mandate. Speaking further, the Chairman assured that the MPB under his watch will ensure that the welfare of military retirees receive needed attention as the Board would do everything possible to ensure better welfare for all military retirees.

While appreciating the leaders of the veteran bodies who attended the meeting, the Chairman disclosed that he had instructed that the processing of monthly pensions should be completed by 22nd of every month in anticipation of release of funds by the Federal Government. According to him, this will help ensure prompt payment and early crediting of retirees’ bank accounts before the end of the month.

Commodore Lawal, however, stressed the importance of dialogue at all times and urged military veterans to resist the temptation of embarking on street protests as it will not only embarrass the government but the entire military family, serving or retired. According to him, it is better to “jaw jaw” than to “war war”.

Leaders of the various groups present at the event were filled with elation and therefore commended the coordination of activities that culminated in the successful maiden interaction between Veterans Associations and the MPB. According to one of the representatives, “this is a significant leap ahead of his predecessors in his administration aimed at building a very friendly and purposeful relationship between the veteran community and the Board. He is definitely moving in right direction”.

The 14 veteran bodies present at the event include the Nigerian Legion, Ex-Servicemen Pensioners Association, Ex-Servicemen & Family Welfare Association, Retired Army, Navy and Air Force Officers Association (RANAO), Retired Member of the Armed Forces (REMENAF),      Association of Ex-servicemen Pensioners, Committee of retired Generals and Equivalent in Lagos and the Foundation for Care of Retired Military Personnel. Others are Coalition of Concerned Veterans, Veteran Federation of Nigeria, Foundation for the Support of Nigerian Veterans, Ex Service Men Mando, Green Heroes Foundation and the Ex-servicemen Welfare Association Masaka