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Chief Of Army Staff ~ Troops will receive highest benefits to the sacrifice made in defence of the country 🇳🇬

The Chief of Army Staff(COAS), Lt.Gen Taoreed Lagbaja has assured that the Nigerian Army under his leadership will continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders to ensure their troops receive the highest benefits commensurate to the sacrifice they make daily in the defence of Nigeria.

He therefore encouraged all officers and men in the frontline in the various theatres as well as those serving in other capacities to continue to give their best to ensure the nation is ridded of all forms of insecurity.

The Chief of Army Staff who spoke at the opening ceremony of the Combat Arms Training Week on Tuesday, holding at the Home of Infantry under the auspices of Headquarters Infantry Corps and Centre Jaji Kaduna State, said the Combat Arms Training (CAT) Week 2024 is an annual event that would present a unique opportunity for interaction between the combat arms as well as other arms and services towards promoting efficiency during operations.

According to him, ” the event also provides commanders and staff officers the opportunity to chart ways towards sound planning for operations as well as effective leadership and command in combat. It further enables brainstorming among commanders and staff of the combat arms to evolve practicable solutions to addressing operational, administrative, and logistic concerns affecting operational efficiency in ongoing and future dynamic contemporary operations.It is heartwarming that this year’s edition is being hosted by the Infantry Corps in the “Home of the Infantry” Jaji, Kaduna.”

“This event being my maiden CAT Week at the helm of affairs of the NA, presents me the opportunity to restate my desire to improve the capabilities of the combat arms towards achieving the constitutional imperatives of the NA. The interaction further provides a forum to leverage the experiences of retired senior officers, erudite resource persons and other key stakeholders to generate ideas needed to finetune our policies for effective conduct of operations in a joint environment. It is pertinent to state that since assuming command as the Chief of Army Staff, I have looked forward to such an interaction where deliberate efforts will be made to harness the thoughts, ideas and approaches to tackling security threats that will emanate from the interaction amongst a wide array of participants. I therefore urge all participants not to relent in making novelle and ingenious inputs, as there is strength in our collective experiences if properly harnessed.”

“The theme for this year’s CAT Week, “Sound Administration: A Panacea for Improved Combat Arms’ Efficiency in a Joint Environment” is very apt and relevant as it resonates with a pivotal pillar of my Command Philosophy. Sound administration has been established to be among several key indices that enhanced the operational efficiency of all strong military forces over history. Accordingly, I am committed to ensuring the highest standards of administrative measures are emplaced to enhance the welfare of Nigerian Army personnel and their families so as to enhance operational efficiency. It will be noted that since assuming command as the Chief of Army Staff, I have sustained all administrative endeavours initiated by my predecessors. Likewise, I have also initiated some intervention programmes, specifically in the areas of accommodation, loans and family support to enhance troops’ morale. Some of such efforts are the COAS Empowerment Loan Scheme and the Affordable Housing Ownership Option for All Soldiers. These programmes are among several administrative efforts that would hopefully be actualised under my leadership in line with my vision for a more efficient Nigerian Army.”

He said he was aware that the combat arms remained at the core of all their operational activities in the conduct of operations across all theatres of operation, even as he was also not oblivious of the challenges of inadequate spares and assemblies, poor accommodation and other administrative issues that have negatively impacted the functionality of these arms.

“Thus, much of my focus will be directed towards addressing these challenges to achieve operational efficiency. Furthermore, attention will also be directed towards enhancing the capabilities of the combat arms through training, equipment and sound administration,” he said.

He said “the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, reiterates his utmost concerns for enhancing the welfare of all Nigerian Army personnel. Accordingly, all Nigerian Army personnel must remain professional, law abiding and loyal to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as they discharge their constitutional responsibilities.”

” I assure you that we will not rest on our oars until we bequeath a better and more befitting Nigerian Army for those who will embrace the arduous task of leading the Service in the near future. I therefore urge all participants to be dynamic and open-minded while discussing issues affecting the combat arms in contemporary operations for enhanced operational efficiency.

Earlier in his welcome address,the Commander Infantry Corps Major Gen OO Oluyede said the event serves as a forum for discussing pertinent issues affecting combat arms operations as well as those of the NA at large.

“The Infantry considers itself privileged to host the first CAT week since the COAS assumed leadership as the Twenty Third COAS of the NA. The NA while executing its constitutional roles under Military Assistance to Civil Authority has been confronted with a myriad of contemporary security challenges. These issues have manifested in the form of terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and secessionist agitations to mention a few. It is however gratifying to mention that the gallant officers and men of the combat arms have been at the fore front of combatting these threats across all geopolitical zones of the country.”

“This does not disregard the complimentary role played by other arms and services as well as security stakeholders based on the ‘whole of society approach’ adopted in the pursuit of national security in recent times. Thus, the accomplishments of the combat arms while operating in intimate support to defeat insecurity remains subjected to the collective effort of stakeholders across all strata of society.”

“It is necessary to highlight that combatting the dynamic threats confronting our dear nation has led to the vast deployment of NA personnel across the country. This situation has overstretched the manpower resources of the NA particularly infantry troops with attendant administrative consequences. Some of the noteworthy administrative challenges experienced include obsolete equipment, inadequate manpower and insufficient welfare amongst others which have affected operational efficiency negatively. This has impacted on the moral component of the NA fighting power and overall operational efficiency of the force. However, through the purposeful leadership of the COAS which seeks to reposition the NA to defeat contemporary and future threats, considerable efforts have been sustained and initiated with significant progress made in addressing these challenges.”

‘The CAT week traditionally provides a forum for interaction among commanders and staff officers of the combat arms to review policies, SOPs and practices for enhanced operational efficiency. It also provides a platform for conducting thorough assessments of operational and administrative activities peculiar to combat arms operations. It further offers opportunity for the NA to leverage upon the experience of serving and retired senior officers of the combat arms as well as revered resource persons whose inputs contributed to the development of pragmatic solutions to security challenges in the recent past. It is in this regard that this year’s CAT week with the theme “Sound Administration: A Panacea for Improved Combat Arms’ Efficiency in a Joint Environment” seeks to achieve a similar feat,” he said.

“It is hoped that the CAT Week 2024 will provide a forum for brainstorming on pragmatic approaches to resolving prevailing administrative challenges affecting the operational efficiency of the combat arms and the NA at large. There is no doubt that administrative challenges such as lack of befitting accommodation, inadequate personnel and family welfare as well as poor healthcare delivery have been among the major hindrances to operational efficiency in the entire NA. It is on this premise that the theme for this CAT Week resonates the COAS’ focus on providing sound administration through improved welfare for personnel and their families. I would like to therefore take this opportunity to appreciate the COAS’ efforts in sustaining all existing programmes geared towards enhancing welfare across the NA. Other laudable initiatives such as the recently launched COAS Empowerment Loan Scheme and the Affordable Housing Ownership Option for All Soldiers are also highly appreciated,” he said.

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