Nigerian Armed Forces Veterans Advocate for Ministry of Veteran Affairs

Nigerian Armed Forces veterans are urging the government to establish a Ministry of Veteran Affairs to address the specific needs of retired military personnel.

This call was made during a stakeholdersā€™ forum at the War College in Abuja, themed “The Nigerian Armed Forces Veterans in the Next Decade.”

Major General Ibrahim Salihu, Director of Veterans Affairs at Defence Headquarters, stressed the importance of veterans regularly gathering to devise solutions to their challenges rather than relying on other stakeholders.

Major General Salihu also urged veterans to collaborate closely with the Nigerian Legion, the official umbrella organization for veterans established by federal law.

Retired Major General Abdulmalik Jibrin, National Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, highlighted the organization’s financial struggles, which hinder its ability to support veterans, their widows, and children. He noted that most of the Legionā€™s funds come from annual emblem sales, but many pledges made to retirees remain unfulfilled.

Jibrin advocated for comprehensive healthcare coverage for veterans under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and regular pension adjustments to keep pace with inflation.

Dr. Chiemele Eze, Veterans Chief Mission Director at the Embassy of Health and Wellness, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, described the proposed Ministry of Veteran Affairs as an innovative solution that would address the healthcare needs of retirees. He emphasized the importance of health policies focusing on healthcare, rehabilitation, and trauma management to aid veterans’ reintegration into society.

Another key recommendation from the conference was for veterans to become more active in politics to champion initiatives for current and future veterans.

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