NAPAAS Director of Operations, Engr Nnadi Eze, Chairman, Nigerian Legion, Brig Gen Jones Akpa (rtd), representative of the Minister of Defence at World Humanitarian Day, part of activities of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration 2021 in Abuja recently.
By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
For those who served to preserve Nigeria’s unity, the recent World Humanitarian Day, will forever be remembered.
This is a result of the partnership between the Nigerian Legion and it’s partners, ARDNAS MIJE Limited/National Personal Asset Acquisition Scheme (NAPAAS), which seek to empower the widows of fallen heroes, living ex-service men across the country and interested serving military personnel.
The empowerment programme was part of the activities of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration 2021.
The project entails distribution of 10000 motorcycles at N320,000 each, 5000 tricycles (Keke) at N1,000,000 each and 100 Toyota Hummer buses.
The items are highly subsidized for the beneficiaries who will not make any deposit, but are expected to repay for the items over a specified time.
Repayment for the motorcycles and the tricycles is two years, while the buses is four years period.
To benefit from the programme are military retirees or families of late personnel who will be endorsed by the Nigerian Legion.
Speaking on the project, Chief Executive Officer, ARDNAS MIJE Limited, Mr Joe Ejim, said he is propelled to better the lives of men and women who laid down their lives to serve the country.
“We identified different areas of challenges we can be useful and work with the Nigerian Legion to make life more meaningful for the beneficiaries.
“We will work in the agriculture sector, create employment, cottage industries, affordable housing, providing tools to create alternative income etc.
ARDNAS MIJE Limited is handling the project from the international front, while NAPAAS are Coordinating the programme in the country.
At the event, Chairman, Nigerian Legion, Brig Gen Jones Akpa (rtd) solicited for peace in the country.
Brig Gen. Akpa (rtd) stated that Nigerian military personnel who paid the supreme sacrifice in the patriotic duty of keeping the nation stable, are “Real Life Heroes” who should be celebrated.
According to him “There is Nexus between the UN theme for this year 2020 and our vision at the Nigerian Legion. Our colleagues, who were your husband’s, fathers and compatriots are our fallen heroes while you the widows, children and other dependants are our ‘Real Life Heroes”, he said.
“Our aim for them in the Nigerian Legion and Ministry of Defence can be captured with the acronym AIM which means, Alleviate Suffering, Improve Lives and Maintain their Human Dignity.
He urged Nigerians to continue to recognize and honour the wives, widows and children of fallen heroes who gave their lives in serving the nation.
At the event, the MD and CEO of NAPAAS, Alhaji Muhammad Aminu Bello, said the programme is to support families left behind by late personnel and living ex-service men across the country.
“As we mark humanitarian day, it is pertinent to ask ourselves how far we have recognized our fallen heroes beyond the symbolism of presentation of a few items and photo opportunities with the ones left behind,” Bello said.
“What do we give their widows to help cushion the pain of losing their loved ones and bread winners? How do we take care of the education of the children they left behind and ensure that they grow up to become proud sons and daughters of their departed fathers?
Giving details of the scheme, Director of Operations, NAAPAS, Engr. Nnadi Eze said it includes 30,000 bags of rice.
He said a seamless payment system for the items through deductions from pensions and other entitlements spanning months or years agreed upon has been worked out to take care of the financial requirements.
Engr. Eze said the innovation will continue to bring smiles on the face of those who sacrificed their all for the good of the country.
NAPAAS, a Public Private Partnership initiative, born out of the need to cater for the welfare of our Ex-servicemen, Ex-paramilitary and other pension group, was established to address all their needs and concerns.
On the Advisory Board and Management council of NAPAAS are prominent Nigerians including royal father, professionals, consultants, academics and technocrats who are committed to utilizing their wealth of knowledge to invest in sustainable social change.
President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2016 Armed Forces Remembrance Day endorsed the Public Private Partnership Initiative, NAPAAS as an economic empowerment programme for improved standard of living, self-reliance, self-sustenance, the eradication of poverty, crime and insecurity and create opportunity for employment, rehabilitation & re-integration, and wealth creation for interested ex-servicemen, ex-paramilitary and organized pension bodies.
On the occasion of the Emblem Launch for 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, President Buhari acknowledged NAPAAS/Nigeria Legion Partnership successes saying “I am happy to note that the Legion has acquitted itself creditably to elicit interest in collaboration by the private sector , In this wise the partnership of the Nigeria Legion with a private sector organization, National Personal Assets Acquisition (NAPAAS) endorsed by the ministry of Defense, is now beginning to yield fruits in the area of provision of basic needs and mass transportation scheme.