The Bill seeking to establish the Veteran Welfare Fund, sponsored by Distinguished Senator Abba Moro, on Wednesday, scaled through Second Reading on the floor of the Senate.
The Veteran Welfare Fund Bill which was first read in the Upper Legislative House on March 5, 2020, is aimed at providing financial and other forms of assistance and benefits to serving and retired members of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
In his lead debate, Senator Moro representing Benue South Senatorial District in the Red Chamber said the Veteran Welfare Fund, if established, would provide succour and hope for serving and retired military personnel who are staking their lives for the country.
According to a statement issued by his media aide, Ameh Comrade Godwin, the lawmaker implored his colleagues to support the Bill and make it a law to serve as a “motivation and morale-boosting for our military men and women.”
Moro’s lead debate reads: “Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, may I humbly seek your consent to lead the debate on this very important Bill.
“The Bill was read for the first time in this Revered Chamber on Thursday, 5th March, 2020.
“Mr. President, most respected colleagues, may I use this opportunity to highlight some of the objectives and intent of the Bill, which certainly will not just furnish justification for this deserving legislative advent, but will also motivate the National Assembly to accelerate the legislative process in passing this Bill into law.
“The Bill seeks to establish the Veteran Welfare Fund so as to provide financial and other forms of assistance and benefits to serving and retired members of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
“Major benefits under this fund include veterans’ compensation, veterans’ pension, rehabilitation, housing assistance, health and economic benefits.
“Mr. President, most respected colleagues, may I, at this point, define ‘Veteran’, for the purpose of this Bill: A Veteran is a long experienced and long practiced person in the service of the Military, Naval, and Air Force, or who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.
“This definition explains any individual who has put in fifteen years and above in the Service or has successfully completed his service years in any branch of the Nigerian Armed Forces, or discharged under conditions other than dishonourable.
“It is pertinent to mention here that most of the time, the best a retired or discharged Military Veteran gets in our country is a befitting ‘burial and memorial’, which often includes service interment, head stones, markers and of course, Presidential Memorial Certificates.
“The Veteran Welfare Fund, when established, will enhance the welfare of serving or retired members of the armed forces in compensation of the enormous sacrifices they have made or are making.
“This Bill intends to boost patriotism, gallantry and morale in the men at the frontline. Mr. President, respected colleagues, I humbly urge you to support this Bill and give it an accelerated passage. Thank you.”
The Bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Establishment And Public Matters.