The United Nations (UN) owes Nigerian army and other four countries N127 billion through their participation in the global peacekeeping operations. The other countries are Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Rwanda.
Despite this, however, all the troops participating in the peacekeeping have been
getting their allowances as and when due.
This information was made known by the director, army public relations, Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru, during the monthly press briefing of the army in Abuja.
“The Nigerian Army commenced its participation in peace support operations in 1961. The first actors of this noble endeavour are still alive and can testify to the fact that the Nigerian Army has never held back operational allowances, or any allowance for that matter, of any personnel in the last 52 years of its involvement in peace support operations," he said.
Attahiru stated that some administrative and logistics factors might delay the payment of such allowances but disclosed that the army has ways of filling the vacuum:
“At times, administrative and logistics bottlenecks may delay the release of funds. The army headquarters has always made efforts to fill in the void, more so troops are kept informed of all developments. Furthermore, you will recall that, early this month, the United Nations (UN) admitted to owing Nigeria and four other countries N127.2 billion accrued through her peacekeeping efforts to the global organisation.”
He also disclosed that Nigerian troops of 333 Artilery Regiment are still in Mali on peacekeeping mission, and the attempt to withdraw them from the mission “would have created a void which may need to be filled by other troops-contributing countries.”
Speaking on some troops who were accusing the army authorities of cutting corners, the army spokesman said that avery army has "bad eggs", and "the case of these disgruntled soldiers is just the army’s share of this societal condition, hence it should not be negatively orchestrated.”
Commenting the ongoing counter-terrorism programme, Attahiru said the efforts to deal with the Boko Haram insurgency is yielding positive efforts. For example, he said, last Saturday, insurgents using rocket-propelled grenades and AK 47 rifles fired into Gamboru-Ngala. Troops deployed at that location promptly engaged the terrorists. In the ensuing fire fight, a couple of terrorists were killed, as others fled into Fotokol in Cameroun, he added.
He also brought to the fore what happened last Sunday when the insurgents mounted a roadblock along Dikwa-Gamboru Ngala road axis, waylaying passengers and subsequently shooting them, killing four civilians, seized foodstuffs being conveyed in a vehicle. Attahiru disclosed that the moment the troops from Special Operations Battalion (SOB) was alerted, troops moved in and pursued the attackers and five of them were killed. To prevent a recurrence, “aggressive patrols on all the highways in the northeast are being intensified.”
Earlier this month, Nigeria was elected into the UN Security Council as a nonpermanent member for a term of two years on October 17, 2013.