Army Chief Reiterates Commitment To Enhanced Welfare Of Personnel


By Anne Osemekeh, Abuja

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja has reiterated his commitment to enhancing the welfare of Nigerian Army personnel and their families.

Lagbaja, who made the commitment on Tuesday at the opening ceremony of the Combat Arms Training (CAT) at the Ihejirika Auditorium, Jaji Military Cantonment in Kaduna State, emphasized that improved welfare package will boost the troops’ morale and ultimately enhance operational effectiveness.

The Army Chief further stated that the CAT Week theme, “Sound Administration: A Panacea for Improved Combat Arms’ Efficiency in a Joint Environment,” is very apt and relevant, as it resonates with one of the essential beams of his Command Philosophy, adding that it has been established to be among several key indices that enhance the operational efficiency of all formidable military forces over history.

Lagbaja noted that as someone who has lived extensively in the barracks, he was not oblivious to the challenges of poor barracks accommodation, infrastructure decay in NA medical centres, schools and other administrative issues, which have negatively impacted unit administration.

He revealed that in order to bring succour to personnel and their families, he has initiated intervention programmes, specifically in the areas of accommodation, credit financing, and other family support schemes to enhance troops’ morale and build family resilience.

Such interventions, he explained include: the COAS Empowerment Loan and the Affordable Housing Ownership Option for All Soldiers (AHOOAS) schemes.

“We have so far structured our intervention plan to make it more encompassing and adaptive to the prevalent economic reality of the nation”, he said.

The Army Chief clarified, that this year’s CAT Week, being his maiden one as COAS, presents an opportunity to restate his desire to improve the combat arms’ capabilities towards achieving the Nigerian Army’s constitutional obligations.

He challenged the Combat Arms to leverage the skills and competencies inherent in the Support Corps to enhance their doctrine and capabilities needed to defeat contemporary threats.

Addressing participants at the CAT week, the Kaduna State Governor, Senator Uba Sani, who was represented by the State’s Commissioner for Security and Homeland Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, saluted the courage and resilience of troops in confronting the menace of terrorism and insurgency in the country.

He stressed that the expanded footprints of the ongoing operations have brought further succour to troubled areas and Kaduna State in particular.

Governor Sani averred that the CAT week’s review of sound administration, resonates with global best practice and is indicative of the mutual resolve to bring about a safe and secure Nigeria under the current leadership. He disclosed that effort is in the offing to propose a security fund bill to promote the fight against security challenges.

The Commander Infantry Corps, Major General Olufemi Oluyede, had earlier noted that in meeting the need for ‘Whole of Society’ approach to tackling contemporary security challenges, the CAT Week provides a platform for harnessing the collective effort of all stakeholders in addressing the current security challenges in the country.

The opening ceremony of the CAT Week drew participations from all works of life including the economic, defence and Security sectors, as well as the traditional institution with the presence of His Royal Highness, Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamali, the Emir of Zauzau, former COAS, Lt Gen. Faruk Yahaya retired (Army) and other serving and retired Army Officers.

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