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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Nigeria Army recruits over 60,000 soldiers in 7 years, says Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has announced that the Nigeria Army has recruited over 60,000 soldiers and commissioned officers in the last seven years. The President made this revelation during the Nigerian Army Trooping and Presentation of Colours Parade 2023 in Abuja on Thursday. He also stated that his administration’s commitment to strengthening the Army has led to its ranking as the fourth in Africa.

Buhari noted that when he assumed command as the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces in May 2015, the fighting power of the Army was at a low ebb. However, due to his administration’s intervention and yearly budgetary allocations to the Army between 2020 and 2022, the Army was able to procure hundreds of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, Troops Carrying Vehicles, utility vehicles, tanks, and Armoured Personnel Carriers to augment those earlier procured.

In addition, significant numbers of new fighting and utility vehicles, along with supporting artillery guns, machine guns, rifles, and corresponding ammunition, were acquired and inducted into various theatres of operations from 2017 to 2022. These acquisitions have translated into a significant increment in the Army’s equipment holding since 2015.

With the significant improvement in the fighting power resulting from the procurement of equipment and mission-specific training, Buhari noted that the Army was empowered to rejig its operations. Accordingly, the Army has restructured the conduct of its operations to meet current realities.

The President further revealed that the quantum of platforms inducted into the Army since 2015 has enabled troops to take the battle to the terrorists and criminals, particularly in the North-East. This has resulted in the recapture of territories hitherto held by the insurgents. The efforts of the troops leading to unprecedented successes were evident in the increased number of neutralized insurgents and those that voluntarily surrendered alongside their families for radicalization and rehabilitation through Operation SAFE CORRIDOR.

Buhari commended the Army for its contributions to global peace through Peace Support Operations. He noted that the creation of the Army Aviation was one of the major aspects of the ongoing expansion process in the Nigerian Army. This unit, when fully operationalized, will provide rapid deployment, close air support, casualty evacuation, prompt delivery of logistics supply, among other roles.

Buhari stated that his administration would continue to support the Army to ensure that it performs its constitutional role of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria and protecting the lives and property of citizens

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