President Bola Tinubu has approved N18 billion for the payment of the Group Life Assurance benefits and other entitlements to the families of fallen heroes.
Mr Tinubu announced this at the launch of the Emblem and Appeal Fund for the 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, held at the presidential villa on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said the country owed a debt of gratitude to its gallant troops, who have risen to the challenge of securing the country.
“In appreciation of the sacrifices of the men and women of our armed forces, and to underscore this government’s commitment to their welfare, I have approved the sum of N18 billion for the payment of their Group Life Assurance.
“The payment will also cater for the benefits and other entitlements to the families of service members who lost their lives in the line of duty.
“I also call on businesses to key into this patriotic spirit and support our service personnel, whether in the form of preferential treatment, discounts, or rebates on goods and services.”
Mr Tinubu assured that his administration would continue to reposition and strengthen all Nigerian security agencies.
“It’s a commitment that we must take seriously. Our foremost objective is to provide a conducive environment, free from threats and criminalities, to enable all who reside within our borders to thrive and live in peace.”
Mr Tinubu noted that the Defense Health Maintenance Ltd, DHML, was living up to its expectation in providing healthcare services to veterans.
“But we will do more. Equally important is the expansion of its services through the establishment of zonal and state offices and regular sensitization programmes.
“As a government, we will continue to prioritise the provision of quality healthcare services to our esteemed veterans and citizens.”
He commended the Nigerian Legion, under the coordination and supervision of the Ministry of Defense, saying “It continues to be a rallying point for veterans, to cater for the welfare of their ailing members.
“I enjoin the leadership of the Nigerian Legion to continue in this spirit and as its Grand Patron, I wish to pledge my full support and that of the Federal Government.”
He appreciated state governors and Patrons in their respective states, for the support they give to the Nigerian Legion,
The president urged them not to relent, but to improve on their efforts.
He also encouraged government agencies at the Federal and state levels to continue to patronise the services of the Nigerian Legion in the provision of security and other administrative services.
“The potential of our ex-servicemen remains enormous and can indeed be tapped for national development.
“The emblem remains a symbol of remembrance and a beacon of hope for a peaceful future in this country.
“It is also our humble way of appreciating the veterans and the families of their fallen colleagues.
“I therefore wish to call on all Nigerians and non-Nigerians residing in the country, irrespective of their political affiliation or religious belief, to adorn the emblem with pride, and identify with those who laid down their lives for the peace and security of our dear country.”
Mr Tinubu also encouraged donors to contribute generously and support veterans and families of fallen heroes.
On his part, the minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, appreciated fallen heroes for the enormous sacrifices they made for the country.
“For the services they offered to keep our nation together, the President, leading other members of the Federal Executive Council, the service chiefs and the Minister of Defense, commemorate this day every year.”
Also, the chief of defence staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, said that the event signified the concern and appreciation of the Tinubu government to the sacrifice of the Armed Forces.
“Because of their sacrifices, we have a lot of widows, a lot of orphans and those without breadwinners,” saying “this for us is significant because it tells us that we have not been forgotten.
“And then it also serves as a morale booster to those of them still in service that whatever it is that happens to you, the nation is solidly behind you.”
Similarly, retired Maj.-Gen. Abdulmalik Jubril, the national chairman, Nigerian Legion, said “I feel highly fulfilled with the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu, for launching the emblem for the 2024 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
“It is gratifying to note the huge turnout of people at the event, the pledges and contributions made in order to help the families of the fallen heroes.
“We are, therefore, very gratified with this achievement today. It’s very memorable for us.”