Four hundred and three soldiers, who have completed a six-month training in new skills, have formally bowed out of the service.
The soldiers, comprising 281 from the Nigerian Army, 17 from the Nigerian Navy and 105 from the Nigerian Air Force, were sent off at a passing-out ceremony held at the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, NAFRC, in Oshodi, Lagos.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Dan-Ali, who urged them to continue to contribute their quota towards surmounting threats to lives and property within their domiciled area.
“You are all aware of the security challenges confronting our country, particularly insurgency in the north east, cattle rustling, kidnappings, pipeline vandalism and other criminal activities across the country.
“Be reminded that as retired personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, much is still expected of you in contributing your quota towards surmounting any threat to lives within your area of domicile.
“This will go a long way in curtailing these vices in order to enhance safety and security which is essential for meaningful socio-economic development as well as peaceful co-habitation and existence,” he said.
He said the federal government was committed to ensuring that service personnel were properly resettled after dedicated service to the country.
“The Federal Government is not relenting in its effort to improve the welfare of both serving and retired personnel and to effectively stem the tide of corruption.
“I enjoin you to key into this laudable stride towards building our democratic values and sustainable national development,”he said.
The minister commended NAFRC for its relentless efforts in pre-retirement training.
“There is no doubt that the last six months must have been quite interesting for you.
“Your successful completion of the course is a testament of your determination and discipline which you must have acquired while in active service.
“Let me point out that the essence of attending the pre-retirement course is to prepare and give you the necessary rudiments for a speedy reintegration back to civil life after gallantry service to your fatherland.
“Our general expectation is that after this stage, you are going to comfortably enjoy your post service life to reflect the level of knowledge and skill you have acquired,” he said.
The minister urged the commandant to continue with the laudable initiatives for high quality human resource development that would be gainful to officers and the society at large.
Earlier, the NAFRC commandant, Austin Jekenu, during his welcome address, urged the retired personnel to make good use of the skills acquired.
He also urged the retired personnel to be obedient to constituted authority while contributing to the progress of their community.
Also present at the ceremony were top military officers, both serving and retired. (NAN)