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By Odunayo Oluwabukola, Ibadan 

The Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) , Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja has on Thursday linked the importance of his welfare policies for the officers of the Nigerian Army across the country to building the morale of personnel to a high battle winning level.

Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja  who was the Special Guest Of Honour at the closing ceremony of the Second Regimental Sergeant Majors Convention 2023 held at El’edua Multipurpose Hall, Ibadan, the Capital City of Oyo state, maintained that since his assumption of office as the Chief of Army Staff the objective of his welfare and policies is to build morale across the Nigerian Army to a very high battle winning level and to sustain it.

In his address, the COAS said the importance of the convention and the crops of the participants gave him no option than to appear in person for the closing ceremony of the convention.

He said, “the theme of this convention which is “Leveraging On Sound Administration For Highly Motivated Force and Operational Efficiency in Nigerian Army” derived directly from my command philosophy of transforming the Nigerian Army into a well trained, equipped and highly motivated force towards achieving our constitutional responsibilities within a joint environment.”

He further said, “I’m pleased to note that the Chief of administration Army and the organizers of this convention deemed it necessary to sees the opportunities it offers to expand on a significance component on my command philosophy who are regimental sergeant majors. The regimental sergeant majors are critical stakeholders in the Nigerian Army administrative and command arrangements, they’re general referred to as fathers of our units, not because of age but because of knowledge borne out of years of training and experienced garner along the path through their current status, they’re the mouthpieces for the younger ones on both professional, personal and family welfare issues.”

“Regimental Sergeant Majors are expected to be repository of wisdom and professional knowledge and that is why commanders look up to them for advise on nearly all issues related to soldiers within their units or formations.” Lagbaja said.

While speaking on the cause of the convention, the CoAS said, “The decline in quality of Regimental Sergeant Majors that rose at some point in Nigerian Army became a cause of concerns to the Army Headquarters as these generations arose that could not satisfactory discharge the function of Regimental Sergeant Majors, the impact of the gap in effectiveness of these generations Regimental Sergeant Majors was felt in our operations, regimentation and administration, in addressing this trend, the Army Headquarters re-gig the Regimental Sergeant Majors convention pattern and introduced training reforms into it.”

“Furthermore, the Army headquarters embarked upon the phased renovation of the dilapidated accommodations for the Army Regimental Sergeant Majors while new structures befitting their status were birthed in formations and units without existing facilities to accommodate them as a form of motivation.”

“Since assuming office as the Chief of Army Staff, I have maintained that the objective of my welfare and policies is to build morale across the Nigerian Army to a very high battle winning level and to sustain it. To this end have initiated tangible welfare packages to provide befitting accommodations for our officers, soldiers and their families, in this regards the Nigerian Army has commenced selling forms of affordable house ownership options for all soldiers “Hauwa Schemes” to interested soldiers, our medical services are also getting due attentions for our troops and their families to have access to top notch medic care, while we are upscaling our education facilities to bring back the glorious days of Nigerian Army schools.”

“Furthermore with the support of Mr President we shall soon commence the payment of the 18 billion naira of outstanding group life assurance to families of our colleagues who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, these and several other welfare efforts are my focus to keep the morale of our troops high as they discharge their constitutional duties, although other exigencies of office made it impossible for me to be here for other activities lined up for this convention, I have been adequately briefed on the quality of lectures delivered by our resource persons and the robust interactions that followed, the secretariat has recorded your actions and pertinent ideas and I believe that organizers of this convention will do the needful within this to enable the initiation of necessary measures at implementation, therefore as you return to your units and formations I charge you to live up to your ranks and status of the appointments by championing discipline and fair dispensation of justices across the army, we should together appropriate sanctions for misdeed in line with extant regulations and promote a fair rewards system where everyone deserving of any form of rewards based on gallantry, excellence, integrity, hard work, ingenuity, and or other parameters due for recognition. Always remember that you have a major role to play in curbing drug abuse in our barracks.” Lagbaja said.

During the course highlight, the Chief of Administration Army, Major General Jimmy Akpor thanked the Chief of Army Staff for the opportunity giving for the convention. He further stated that the convention is coming at a right time when it would help equip personnel in good administrative delivery.

At the convention, lectures bordering on Troops motivation, mentorship skills, Emotional Intelligence and Leadership were discussed.

Highlights of the event includes tree planting and a group photograph to climax the event.

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