Philip Nwosu and Nkiru Odinkemelu
Three hundred and twenty military personnel, comprising 262 from the Nigerian Army, 44 from the Nigerian Navy and 14 from the Nigerian Air Force have voluntarily who bowed out of the Armed Forces.
The personnel dropped their arms after six-month skill acquisition and entrepreneurial training at the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), Oshodi, Lagos.
Bidding them farewell, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, urged them to continue to contribute their quota towards surmounting threats to lives and property within their domiciled area.
“You will have to prove in your relationships that you have passed through a highly disciplined system such as the military.
“I believe you are all capable of succeeding and positively influencing whatever environment you find yourselves after now,” he said.
The CDS said he had no doubt that the training they have passed through at the Centre would expose them to several entrepreneurial and management skills that would help mitigate the envisaged pitfalls as well as living a stress free life in retirement.
“Let me use this opportunity to intimate you that the Defence Headquarters recently organised a workshop with the aim of harmonising all armed forces veterans associations.
“Thus a Veteran Association of Nigeria has been proposed and modalities for its establishment are ongoing.
“Also, a change in name and mandate of NAFRC is being considered to better reflect the current role of the Centre in capacity development of our retiring officers, soldiers, ratings and airmen,” he said.
The CDS also said that the Defence Headquarters was making efforts towards reviewing the mandate of the Centre, noting that the needs of the mordern day retirement go beyond mere vocational training.
Earlier, the NAFRC Commandant, Air Vice Marshall 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.
Jekenu urged all the retiring servicemen to positively contribute to boost national economy in whatever business they engaged in.
“The Centre graduates 2 courses annually and it is on record that we have trained over 41, 000 ex-servicemen of the Nigerian Armed Forces since its inception.
“We have enjoyed tremendous support from the National Assembly, Ministry of Defence, CDS and Service Chiefs,” he said.