Soldiers of the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, headquartered in Kaduna, have cried out that their monthly salaries are being deducted by the Army Finance Department without explanations. Their outrage is contained in a letter to the Director of Army Finance Accounts (DAFA). The letter, exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, said the unexplained deductions have gone on for 17 months.
According to the letter, a staff sergeant, who is on a monthly salary of N73,500 is docked N8,500 monthly, leaving him with N65,000.
Sergeants, who should earn N65,000 have been having N7,000 deducted without explanation, leaving them with a take-home pay of N58,000. Corporals entitled to N58,000 monthly are being paid N52,000, while Lance Corporals are paid N49,000 instead of N52,000 as prescribed by the Army salary structure for officers in that category.
In the letter, the soldiers called on the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, to look into their complaints.
Some of the affected soldiers serving in 1 Brigade Sokoto, 35 Battalion, and 3 Brigade Kano told SaharaReporters that there is anger within the lower cadre in the I Division.
“I am a corporal, and my monthly salary, which is supposed to be N58,000:00 has been slashed to N52,000. I was given a letter signed by Brigadier General C.O Udeh, the then Commander of the 1 Brigade, Sokoto, to the Finance Department of 1 Division, Nigerian Army in Kaduna, but the complaint received no response,” said a soldier.
Some soldiers also lamented that they were promoted to the next rank since September 1, 2014, and 2015 respectively, but they are still being paid salaries on account of their previous ranks.
A soldier promoted to the rank of sergeant on 1 September 2015 said he was paidN1,990 as his promotion arrears on 30 January 2016. He also complained that he is still being paid the old salary even after he was paid the measly promotion arrears.
The affected soldiers include those carrying gunshot injuries sustained while on deployment to “Operation Zaman Lafiya,” which has been renamed “Operation Lafiya Dole.”