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Some security operatives attached to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, are currently groaning under heavy debts as a result of the stoppage of their special allowance referred to as the Risk Cautious Allowance.
PUNCH Newspaper is reporting that they have not been paid the monthly allowance since May 2015 when the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari came on board despite repeated promises made to them on the issue.
The security officers include those of the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police, the Department of State Services, the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, the Federal Road Safety Commission and the Fire Service among others.
Some of the security operatives, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Tuesday, lamented that they had not been able to meet their various financial obligations because of the development.
They said despite this, authorities of the Presidential Villa kept introducing additional security measures that further tasked them daily.
A policeman said that because of the non-payment of the allowance, some policemen, who could no longer afford increasing transport fares, had converted their beats to temporary homes.
“It is not easy! We can no longer cope with the increase in transport fare. Policemen are now passing the night at their beats. In the evening, you can go to Gate 4 and 5 among other spots in the Villa to confirm this,” he said.
Another operative, a soldier, said they were feeling the brunt of the non-payment of the allowance more because most of them were junior officers who collected far less than N50,000 monthly as salary.
“I could not pay the school fee of my daughter last term. Another term is starting soon. Most of us are junior officers with less than N50,000 as salary. We always augment our salary with this small allowance but they have denied us of it,” he lamented.
Another security operative said it was not fair for the authorities to remain silent in the face of the growing disquiet over the issue.
He said the right thing to do was for them to address the operatives on efforts being made to pay them and when the payment would be done.
He added that the last they heard on the matter was when the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, directed all operatives in the Presidential Villa to fill some forms running into about five pages.
He said not satisfied with the arrangement, heads of about two security agencies asked their men not to fill the forms.