The Nigerian military on Friday retired 357 non-commissioned officers (NCOs) from service.
The retirees comprised 258 from the Nigerian Army (NA), 70 from the Nigerian Navy (NN) and 15 from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) who have either reached statutory age of retirement or have attained 35 years of service.
They were disengaged from service at a well-attended function held at the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), where they underwent a six-month pre-retirement training to prepare them for life outside the uniform.
Addressing the retirees, the Chief of Defence General, Gen. Lucky Irabor, reminded them their passing out parade signified a setting dusk in their distinguished military career, as well as a testimony of their determination, commitment and discipline.
Irabor, who was represented by the Chief of Defence Training and Operations, Rear Admiral George Eyo, said the pre-retirement course was designed to give trainees the requisite rudiments for a successful reintegration into civil life after a meritorious service to the country.
“It is our hope that on completion of this training, our gallant discharging servicemen and women seated here today will apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired and by so doing, comfortably enjoy the post service life,” he said.
He urged the retirees to remain good ambassadors of the Armed Forces, maintain highest level of integrity and ensure they contributed towards nation building as they go about their businesses.
“You will from now on take full charge as planners and executors of your personal daily activities. This may sound exciting and promising but beware; you need to properly manage your freedom in order to be successful.
“The society will expect a high moral standard and discipline from you. You will also have to prove in your relationships that you passed through a highly disciplined system. As our well-grounded ambassadors, I believe you are all capable of excelling in your future endeavors and positively influence your environment for the economic development of our dear country.”
The CDS urged them to put to good use, the various entrepreneurial, business development and management skills they had learnt at NAFRC for economically productive and successful life after retirement.
Earlier, NAFRC Commandant, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Adamu Idris, said the centre has trained about 50,000 personnel since inception, adding that other Nigerians have also benefited from trainings at the centre.
At the event were security chiefs and heads of government agencies in Lagos, including the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Maj.-Gen. Lawrence Fejokwu, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Admiral Jason Gbassa, and Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Sunday Makinde.