The Federal Government has directed the immediate review of Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service (HTACOS) in the Nigerian Armed Forces. Investigation by New Telegraph revealed that the directive, when in force, will raise the retirement of officers in the Nigerian Armed Forces from the present 56 years to 62.
It was gathered that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration feels concerned about the level of retirement of fine officers, who, ordinarily, could still be of immense value to the military, but for the ceiling on retirement. Highly placed sources in the military told New Telegraph that already, a committee has been inaugurated by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonisakin.
The committee, which was said to have been inaugurated before the holidays began, is said to be headed by a Rear Admiral, with membership from the Army, Navy and Air Force. One of the terms of reference, according to one of the sources, is to carry out a detailed study of the militaries of Russia, Britain, Pakistan and those of other developed nations of the world, with a view to making the Nigerian Armed Forces, one of the best in terms of global reckoning. The committee, which is expected to begin sitting immediately, will produce a document, which will be transmitted to the National Assembly by way of an executive bill, for onward passage into law.
What could not be confirmed was whether or not, the initiative will take retroactive effect. One of the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “In order to provide better condition of service for our military officers, paramount of which is to raise the age of retirement from 56 to 62, as is the case in other advanced militaries of the world.
“The laudable decision by our incorruptible Commander-in-Chief is meant to curb the attrition rate in our military, which is definitely on its way to restoration to its hitherto enviable position, which evidence can be seen in the number of peacekeeping missions under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), former Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which is now African Union (AU), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).”
He added: “The Federal Government has, by this development, mandated the Service Chiefs, to present a working document, which is to review the existing HTACOS 2012, in order to provide better condition of service for military officers.”