President Muhammadu Buhari has cleared the backlog of allowances of security agents attached to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, therefore dousing the tension that was brewing among the operatives.
Investigation by our correspondent on Tuesday revealed that the President, through the Office of the National Security Adviser, has also effected over 50 per cent increase in the security agents’ allowance popularly referred to as Risk Cautious Allowance.
The PUNCH had reported exclusively that there was disquiet among security operatives attached to the Presidential Villa over their unpaid allowances which, if not addressed urgently, could degenerate into a security breach.
The security officers include those of the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police, the Department of State Services, the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, the Federal Road Safety Commission and the Fire Service among others.
Multiple sources among the security operatives who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity confirmed that the government had paid the arrears of allowance that dated back to April 2015.
“Former President Jonathan’s administration paid the allowance up until March 2015 and left those of April and May unpaid. For a long time, the present administration did not pay but it has since cleared all the arrears. They are no longer owing us,” one of the operatives said.
Another operative confirmed the increase in the allowance to our correspondent.
In the past, senior officers were said to be receiving about N30,000 per month while junior officers got about N25,000.
The source said, “Before now, under the past administration, we have been collecting between N25,000 and N30,000 depending on our levels. But now, the allowance had been increased to between N80,000 and N150,000 depending on our levels. This is indeed a welcome development for us.”
A Presidency source also told our correspondent that with the increase, the administration now expects nothing less than 100 per cent loyalty from the security operatives.
“They no longer have any excuse not to perform. With this kind of treatment, we will no longer overlook any act of indiscipline on the part of any operative. They have been encouraged enough,” the source said.