By Capt Hashim Abdullahi
1. ‘MADE-IN-NIGERIA MILITARY BOOTS RANK AMONG BEST GLOBALLY’.
The boots produced by the Nigerian Institute of Leather Science and Technology (NILEST), Zaria have been ranked among the best in the world. The Acting Director General of the institute, Dr. Eucharia Ngozi Oparah, said this yesterday while receiving participants of National Defence College (NDC) Course 26, Abuja who were on a study tour. She said, “In 2016, the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria awarded us a contract to produce 2,000 pairs of military combat black boots for its 76th Regular Recruits Intake and 350 officers’ shoes. I am pleased to inform you that NILEST was able to deliver to the extent that the Nigerian Army Officers’ Course ranked the boots as among the best globally. On this feat, the Nigerian Army awarded us another contract for 3,000 pairs of boots this year for the training of their 77th Regular Recruits Intake.” Dr. Oparah appealed to the Nigerian Armed Forces and other paramilitary outfits to patronise NILEST products to enable it maintain its leading role in Africa. Earlier, the leader of the visiting team, Brigadier General Martin Obiora said the college was the apex military training institution in Nigeria and in sub-Saharan Africa offering different strategic courses for officers.
2. NAFRC PREPARES 40 GENERALS FOR RETIREMENT.
To ensure a well balanced and productive life after service, the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre ( NAFRC ), Oshodi on sunday commenced a two-week entrepreneurship and management training programmes for 40 senior military officers of the general cadre. The officers comprising 15 from the Nigerian Army (NA), 10 from the Navy (NN), 10 from the Air Force (NAF) and five from NAFRC are expected to within two weeks, come up with viable business plans that would be scrutinised by the training facilitators, Empretec Nigeria Foundation. Inaugurating this year’s second edition of the course in Lagos yesterday, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin urged the participants to take the training seriously. Olonisakin, who was represented by the Chief of Defence Administration, Rear Admiral Muazu Salami, said: “As senior managers of the military enterprise, you are now being prepared to deploy knowledge already acquired in the course of your career to more civil use. There is no doubt that life after service presents peculiar challenges, one of which is the need for retired officers to be able to still engage in meaningful economic activities with the aim of ensuring a productive and wholesome life after military service.
3. OGBEH WANTS SOLDIERS TO INVEST IN AGRICULTURE.
The Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, on Monday urged officers and men of the Nigerian Army to join other Nigerians and invest in agriculture. Ogbeh spoke at a sensitisation programme organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development ( FMARD ) for the Nigerian Army in Abuja. Ogbeh, who was represented by Mrs Winifred Ochinyabo, his Special Adviser on Special projects and General Duties, said the strength of a nation lay in its ability to feed itself. She noted that because security personnel were trained combatants and not business people, they were usually vulnerable in retirement.
4. WHY WE’RE CONDUCTING 2017 MILITARY PENSIONS VERIFICATION EXERCISE NOW — FG.
The Federal Government, Monday, explained why it was conducting the 2017 military pensions verification exercise for over 90, 000 ex-soldiers across the country, saying it was aimed at blocking leakages, updating pensioners records and improving ex-soldiers database. Minister of Defence, Mansur Muhammad Dan Ali who made the disclosure at the commencement of the verification exercise expected to be attended by 7, 000 ex-soldiers in the Abuja area, also noted that exercise was being conducted by the ministry of Defence to re-appraise the effectiveness of military pension’s administration with a view to making improvements. Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Hajia Nuratu Batagarawa, the minister said it was also aimed at erasing deceased and fake pensioners from the system. “The military pensions verification exercise is conducted simultaneously in all the 36 states of the federation and FCT at designated military formations and some non-military formations” the minister added.
5. LAGOS TO ACQUIRE SURVEILLANCE AIRCRAFT TO SECURE CREEKS.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday restated the commitment of the State Government to ensure the comfort and safety of residents and investors, saying the general welfare of the people remains a top priority for his administration. This is as it emerged that the State Government has perfected plans to acquire Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform, which is a specialized light aircraft, to secure creeks and riverine communities in the State. Speaking at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja when he received Commanders of Armed Forces formations in the State on courtesy visit, Governor Ambode said it was gratifying that in the last two and half years of his administration, security agencies have been extremely cooperative with the State Government and working hard to ensure safety of lives and property. While assuring that the State Government would not relent in supporting security agencies with critical infrastructure and logistics to enhance their job, the Governor also urged them to continue to put the equipment procured for them into good use for the overall security and comfort of the people. Earlier, General Officer Commanding (GOC), Airforce Logistics Command, AVM J’afaru Yahaya who led other service commanders including GOC 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Peter Dauke; Commander, 9 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Ellias Attu; Commander, Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier General T.J Kareem; Commander, 651 Base Service Group of Nigerian Navy, Air Commodore Musbau Olatunji, among others, said they were at Lagos House to assure the State Government of their commitment to ensure security-tight environment for people to go about their lawful business.
6. INSECURITY: MILITARY DEPLOYS RESEARCH TEAM TO BAYELSA.
A team of military researchers from the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Kaduna, monday arrived in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, to understudy the state’s security environment. The team of about 20 senior officers from the rank of army major led by Navy Commodore, Joseph Dzunve, it was learnt would also seek to establish the root cause of youth restiveness in the area with a view to finding solutions to the challenges. Comprising the navy, army and air force of senior course 40 in Jaji, the officers are also expected to submit a copy of their findings to the state government. During a visit to the governor of the state, Mr Seriake Dickson, who was represented by his deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd), Commodore Dzunve noted that it was also part of the college’s curriculum to send senior officers to understudy some areas before graduation.
7. NAVY CHARGES OFFICERS TO BE INNOVATIVE IN TACKLING MARITIME INSECURITY.
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas, has charged newly promoted officers to bring new ideas, innovations and be inventive in tackling the myriads of security challenges facing the maritime domain and the nation at large. Ibas stated this yesterday in Abuja at the decoration ceremony of 16 senior officers who were recently elevated to the rank of Rear Admirals. He said the perpetrators of these ills have remained relentless in ingeniously devising ways to circumvent the security measures deployed and it needs no profound analysis to connect the inverse effect of their successes with serious injury to the nation’s well-being.
8. WELFARE: ARMY RENOVATES INTELLIGENCE CORPS QUARTERS IN KADUNA.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has enjoined personnel of the remodeled Intelligence Corps quarters in Kaduna comprising 15 and 30 rooms in each block to ensure they maintain the building and avoid acts such as illegal connections and unauthorized modifications that would compromise its integrity and aesthetics. He further charged soldiers of the Nigerian Army Intelligence Corps (NAIC) to redouble their commitment and work assiduously within the context of his vision to ensure national security. He gave the charge during the commissioning of remodeled/renovated quarters for personnel of NAIC and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCO) at Ribadu Cantonment yesterday in Kaduna. Represented by the Director Military Intelligence, Major General Abubakar Tarfa, the CAOS said one key motivator and incentive for personnel of the Nigerian army to meet expectations for their constitutional roles was by providing a conducive environment to live.
9. ARMY GENERAL, VET PROFESSOR, RECEIVE SAMOBA AWARD.
The Director of Peace Operations in the Defence Headquarters, Major General Abba Mohammed Dikko and Professor Nuhu Bala Adamu of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maiduguri were presented with the Distinguished Fellow Awards by the Sardauna Memorial College Old Boys Association (SAMOBA) of the 1982 set. The ceremony, which took place at the college premises in Kaduna yesterday, brought together most of the year 82 set members who celebrated the 40th anniversary of their admission into the college. The Chairman of Kaduna Electric, Barrister Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar who is also the Chairman of the year 82 group described the awardees as “quintessential gentlemen and worthy ambassadors of their Alma Mater who have made tremendous contributions to the development of their chosen career in particular and the nation in general.”
10. BOKO HARAM: CSOS DECRY CAMPAIGN OF CALUMNY AGAINST ARMY.
The coalition of Civil Society Groups Against Terrorism in Nigeria has condemned alleged campaign of calumny against the Nigerian Army. Speaking through the Convener and Secretary of the coalition, Odeyemi Oladimeji and Atani John on Monday, they alleged that some groups were accusing the Army leadership of failing to pay till date, the salaries and allowances of its soldiers drafted to the Operation Lafiya Dole in the North East. They described the action of the groups as unpatriotic and inimical to the ongoing war against terrorism in the country. In a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos, the group said: “No amount of blackmail and wild allegations against the leadership of the Nigerian Army, particularly the Chief of Army staff, General Tukur Buratai, can derail the Army and its leadership, from pressing further in defeating the now decimated Boko Haram insurgents, and their intellectual wing, whose major preoccupation, is to continually disseminate unfounded allegations, in order to misinform the general public and ultimately, demoralize our hard fighting troops, in the front lines.”