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Nigeria pays Chadian and Nigerien soldiers monthly allowance to fight Boko Haram

altNIGERIA is paying Chadian and Nigerien soldiers a monthly allowance of N146.25m (£491,000) to fund their maintenance and feeding while they are in the country helping to combat Boko Haram.

Last month, Nigeria and her neighbours agreed to create the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to provide a regional solution to the Boko Haram menace. Made up of troops from Chad, Cameroon, Niger Republic and Nigeria, the 7,500-strong MNJTF is being funded by Nigeria and has achieved significant success lately.

In addition to paying the Chadian and Nigerien troops monthly pocket and feeding allowances Nigeria is also paying for the fuelling of the operational vehicles of the foreign troops and other logistics. A breakdown of the N146.2m shows that the 2,500 troops contributed by Chad receive N112.5m (£377,370) monthly while the 750 soldiers from Niger Republic get N33.75m (£113,213).

Each of the soldiers from the two countries gets N45,000 (£150) monthly as pocket and feeding allowances, which is the same amount paid their Nigerian counterparts. Both Chad and Niger Republic are said to be demanding increased funding by the international community to augment the allowances paid them by Nigeria.

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One military source said: “Although, it is a joint operation, a kind of sub-regional collaborative effort, Nigeria is the only country funding the operations. The arrangement is not such that each participating country funds its defence forces deployed for the operation.

“Nigeria is funding the operation to the extent of providing the allowances for all the Chadian and Nigerien troops involved. Apart from that, the country is also providing for the feeding of these troops and fuelling all their operational vehicles.”

Despite the ongoing regional cooperation, Nigeria's  defence headquarters is said to be uncomfortable with the slant of stories to highlighting the supposed exploits of the supporting countries to the detriment  of its troops. For instance, Nigeria's chief of army staff Lt General Kenneth Minimah, said a report claiming that Chadian troops liberated Damasak, a border community between Nigeria and Niger Republic on March 9, is untrue.

He added that according to reports, the Chadian army killed 200 insurgents while liberating the town, which is untrue as Damasak is still in the hands of the terrorists. Nigerian defence chiefs have also vehemently denied claims that their troops are afraid of engaging Boko Haram as has been widely claimed.

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