The Nigerian Army has approved an upward review of monthly ration allowance to soldiers, taking it from N1,000 to N1,200 ($1.50) in a memo shared on social media.
The approval, which decried rising challenges for troops following the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu, came on July 27, according to the memo signed by Emmanuel Emekah, a major-general, on behalf of the chief of army staff, Taoreed Lagbaja. How the memo leaked on social media was unclear, but officers confirmed its authenticity to Peoples Gazette.
“Sequel to the recent removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government of Nigeria, with its attendant rise in the prices of goods and services across the country, the COAS has graciously approved upward review of ration cash allowance of troops from N1,000 to N1,200 with effect from August 2023,” Mr Emekah said. While the allowance is separate from monthly salaries, soldiers have already started grumbling about the poor remuneration in the military.
“Members of my unit are already complaining that the allowance is just too poor,” a lieutenant told The Gazette by telephone Wednesday afternoon. “They were expecting about N5,000 in ration allowance because their salaries are too low already.”
“Most of them earn less than N70,000 per month,” the lieutenant added under anonymity to comment on internal brass decisions. A spokesman for the Nigerian Army did not immediately return a request seeking comments about the announcement.
The development memo surfaced as Nigerians are groaning over the new subsidy regime, which has seen commodity prices rise exponentially following Mr Tinubu’s decision to stop subsidising petrol for Nigerian households.
Protests were held across the country as part of efforts among labour unions to force the president to reconsider the policy, which was first introduced in the 1970s when the Nigerian economy became increasingly dependent on crude exports.