The serene atmosphere at Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai Auditorium, Giginya Barracks, Sokoto, venue for the workshop themed, “Equipment Maintenance and Operational Efficiency: The Role of Operational and Tactical Level Commanders in the Nigerian Army As Well As Sister Services Through Inter-Agency Cooperation,” set the tone that the top-ranking officers in attendance, were not in session for a tea party.
Flagging-off the workshop, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Farouk Yahaya, reiterated that training and retraining of personnel remains very critical in achieving success as doing so would help equip officers with global best practices.
The COAS said the workshop, a follow-up on the first, which was held in the 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Oyo state, is a routine aimed at developing the capabilities of the commanding officers’ and junior commanders to enable them operate more effectively and efficiently.
While noting that Nigerian security agencies were working round the clock to ensure security of all, the Army Chief expressed optimism that the workshop would go a long way to redirect the perspective of Nigerian Army personnel on how best to provide practical solutions to the contemporary security challenges confronting the nation.
Lt. General Yahaya said, “the military will continue to be focused, resilient and committed to training its personnel to effectively and efficiently operate in line with best practices towards tackling security challenges.
“All aspects of training activities must be in line with acceptable practices. Training will continue to receive priority attention in order to attain the desired professional requirements to bring to an end the plethora of security challenges confronting the country at the moment.
“The operational environment is dynamic and complex. Adequate and efficient training of officers is imperative at tactical and command levels to be able to achieve the desired results.
“It is indeed the highest point of professionalism needed to strengthen as well as enhance our commitment to operational competence at confronting the spate of security challenges in Nigeria.”
The COAS urged participants to take advantage of the event to develop and exchange constructive ideas and discussions in order to fast-track practical solutions to contemporary security challenges.
He acknowledged President Muhammadu Buhari’s support to the military by making the institution more robust towards discharging its constitutional role of defending the nation’s sovereign integrity.
Lending his voice in consonance with the theme of the workshop, Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, emphasised inter-agency collaboration as key and very fundamental in addressing current security challenges in the country.
According to Tambuwal, enabling the army will not only boost soldiers’ morale for effective service delivery but also enhance inter-agency relationship, which is fundamental in their drive towards lasting peace in the country.
“The Nigerian Army needs more equipment, training and retraining. Maintenance is key in every human endeavour especially when it comes to equipment, as complex and important as the one the soldiers and security operatives use.
“The officers of the army in Sokoto are committed to their duty. They are doing their best on the re-establishment of peace and stability in Sokoto State, with very close collaboration with other services in the state.”
Tambuwal also commended the COAS for working assiduously to tackle insecurity nationwide, especially the citing of units at Isa and Sifawa areas of Sokoto State.
While noting that Nigeria needs more equipment with commensurate maintenance and training activities for the army and other security agencies, the governor appealed to the president for continued support to further drive a responsive course towards tackling security challenges.
In his goodwill message, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammmad Sa’ad Abubakar, commended the COAS for organising the workshop, saying, “it will boost the morale of the personnel towards effective service delivery.
“The importance of this workshop hinges on the coming together of the operational commanders and various units under one roof to discuss and exchange ideas on the challenges confronting them.
“There is no end to learning and the best ‘equipment’ are the soldiers behind the equipment. You should continue to do your best.”
Earlier, the GOC 8 Division Army Headquarters, Sokoto, Major General Uwem Bassey said the Nigerian Army was ready to accomplish its assigned mission in a joint environment, adding that the choice of the theme was in tune with the operational mission statement of the COAS.
According to Bassey who is also the Commander Northwest Operation ‘Hadarin Daji’ Task Force, the workshop will also smoothen and enhance the drive for tactical and commanding officers to operate effectively and efficiently going by their primary role of equipment maintenance in a joint operational environment.
The GOC urged all participants to avail themselves with the best of the workshop towards building their capacities for high operational performance.
During the five-day workshop, lectures were delivered alongside interactive sessions moderated by discussants. Topics treated include Emotional Intelligence and Military Leadership by Brig. Gen. O.O Arogundade; Road Traffic Accident: Causes and Remedies by DCC Ibrahim Danladi; Basic Administration/Operational Procedure in the Unit and Lessons Learnt by Lt. Col M.O Yusuf and The Importance of Air Power to Tac/Ops Level Commands in Asymmetric Warfare by Air Cdre A. Bot.
Brig. Gen E.B Abore discussed Equipment Maintenance and Operational Efficiency: The Role of Operational and Tactical Level Commanders in the Nigerian Army as well as Sister Services Through Inter-Agency Cooperation just as Operation of Military Equipment and its Utilisation to Improve Effectiveness of Asymmetric Warfare was handled by Brig. Gen A. G Laka while Improved Equipment Sustainment and its Importance in Asymmetric Warfare was handled by Brig. Gen. E.H Akpan;
Other topics extensively discussed were, Maintenance Infrastructure and Equipment Serviceability in the Nigerian Army by Brig. Gen. B.I Alaya; Personnel Resource Management and Operational Efficiency by Brig. Gen. U.V Unachukwu and Equipment Maintenance and Operational Efficiency: The Role of Operational and Tactical Level Commanders in the Nigerian Army as well as Sister Services Through Inter-Agency Cooperation by Maj. Gen. S.S Araoye.