Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen Azubuike Ihejirika
By Senator Iroegbu
The Nigerian Army has disclosed plans towards making its retired officers relevant in the scheme of things in the military by engaging their services and expertise after retirement
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen Azubuike Ihejirika stated this Friday in Abuja while inaugurating the Army Transformation and Innovation Centre built through direct labour by the army engineers.
Ihejirika said that with President's approval, highly professional and intelligent officers could be made to serve in the centre even after attaining their retirement age rather than giving them out as the army had always done.
He said the centre was an institution where the army hopes to keep a lot of their think tank adding that every army and every nation must device a means of keeping a think tank.
He said: "The army headquarters has commenced work towards examining this, so that we do not waste vital resources in personnel on the basis of regular retirement as experiences are not easy to acquire.
"The successful completion of the project was a huge step towards the realisation of our vision which is to 'transform the army into a force better able to meet contemporary challenges.”
The COAS noted that the idea to build the centre was to ensure the steady progress of the on-going transformation process in the army.
"This project is also in line with the Federal Government’s agenda thus the army is expected to come up with a force projection that will support the president’s national transformation timelines as stipulated in the transformation agenda and you are all aware security is a major issue of that agenda," he explained.
"The transformation and innovation centre will seek therefore to keep pace with global military advancement in addressing contemporary challenge,” he added.
Ihejirika further explained that the centre was detached from the army headquarters so that officers at the centre would dispassionately look at what the army was doing.
According to him, the centre was to ask questions and debate freely whether the army tactics and strategy are correct and make presentations.
"What the army is doing is to have a situation where no officer is satisfied with achievement so as to have steady progress,” he said.
The army chief, however, urged all officers and men of the army to continue to uphold public confidence in maintaining law and order in their internal security operations and peace support operations.
"The Nigeria citizen and those of our neighbours will continue to look up to the armed forces and the army for enhance security," he noted.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Transformation and Innovation, Maj-Gen Ibrahim Sani said that the role of the centre was to look into the history of the army to correct the mistakes of the past for a better today and tomorrow.
Sani added that the centre would continue to monitor the national transformation agenda a with a view to proffer useful suggestions to the chief of army staff for consideration to enable the army to be in line with the agenda.
He emphasised that to overcome the day to day operational challenges of the army borne out of an ever changing environment, the centre would conduct analysis of new approaches through a competition of ideas and explore options of reducing operational risk.
He said: "The transformation process is expected to be hinged on four pillars which are strategy, technology, threat and risk mitigation comprising force management, operations, current and future challenges and institutional risks.
"Hence the centre must develop new innovations, concepts and capabilities against the old and outdated ORBAT, doctrines, training and conduct of operations."