Nigerian Army Personnel Forced to Resort to Crime: Low Salaries Spur Desperate Measures, Endangering National Security

A Nigerian Army soldier has voiced his concerns about the financial difficulties that junior personnel face, revealing the significant strain low salaries have placed on their ability to make ends meet.

Adding to his grievances, the sergeant argued that despite the crucial role the Nigerian military plays in ensuring the country’s security, the government has fallen short in rewarding their efforts by neglecting to enhance the soldiers’ overall welfare package.

In the impassioned open letter to President Bola Tinubu, the disgruntled Nigerian Army sergeant exposed the alarming reality facing junior military personnel, who are forced to resort to illegal activities like oil bunkering, arms and ammunition dealing, armed robbery, and kidnapping to supplement their meager salaries. The soldier contended that the government’s failure to prioritize soldiers’ welfare was not only undermining their ability to lead dignified lives but also creating a toxic environment that could potentially lead to widespread lawlessness and corruption within the armed forces.


It read, “Sir, with due respect, I hereby open up to you on how we are from the Army Authorities, this very letter is about our current challenges within the Army alone, not Nigerian Navy nor Nigerian Air Force.

“We have lost our morale already, in the Army today, all the Generals are only after their families, they are less concerned about the solutions to the current insecurity in Nigeria. Most of these insecurity challenges that we are facing today have these army Generals behind them, so they can keep seeing free money that can’t be accounted for.

“Secondly the salaries of the junior soldiers need to be addressed. Among all the security agencies in Nigeria today, army junior personnel are the ones being paid the lowest. So we need a proper review of our salaries as junior soldiers are now involved in illegal duties, oil bunkering, sabotage, arms and ammunition deal, armed robbery and kidnapping.

“Since 2008 that late President Yar’dua increased our salaries, nothing has been added to it till date, that was 16 years ago. Private soldiers still collect N46,657,67. Sir, Lance Corporals are being paid N50,139.90, Corporals collect N51,980.89 while Sergeants take home N56,798.70 only monthly.

“Mr President, Staff Seageant are still being paid N67,585.46, Warrant Officers collect 87,900.57 while Master Warrant Officers after over 30 years in service are paid N130,976.20 monthly in this current economy.”


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