SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI PRESIDENT, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE OCCASION OF THE NIGERIAN
ARMY TROOPING AND PRESENTATION OF COLOURS
PARADE 2023 THURSDAY 27TH APRIL 2023
It is with a mixture of joy and pride that I congratulate the Nigerian Army on this all important occasion of Trooping and Presentation of Colours Parade 2023.
- It is a privilege for me to present colours to some deserving units who have played vital roles in securing our country. Colours are revered symbols of the identity of a unit. They also display a regiment’s battle honours or those inherited from predecessors. They therefore play huge roles in the operational successes of their regiments.
- I am also aware that since the last Trooping and Presentation of Colours Parade in 2007, new units have been established and operationalized in line with the increasing operational commitments of our Army.
- Additionally, existing colours have been extensively involved in multiple operations in various geo-political zones of the country as well as foreign countries, hence deserving of retirement. Today’s ceremony is a continuation of our effort to re-invigorate the fighting spirit of our troops through the inculcation of greater pride in their units.
- Let me use this medium to sincerely commend the officers and men of the Army, all members of the Armed Forces and other security agencies for their exceptional performances in the various operations across the country.
- At the inception of this administration, the nation’s security situation was greatly challenged by the activities of violent non-state actors. Today, I am pleased to specially note that the situation has tremendously improved and I wish to also proudly highlight that we have made remarkable progress in the fight against insurgents, militants, oil bunkerers, kidnappers and other criminal elements in the country.
- This administration has achieved remarkable transformation of the military in the areas of fighting power, training, operations, manpower, remunerations and medical services. These are in addition to maintenance efficiency, accommodation and expansion of forces. The improvements in these areas have collectively enhanced the Army’s capacity to effectively carry out its constitutional mandate.
- The fighting power of our Army was at low ebb as at May 2015. However, 7 years later, its fighting power has increased significantly making it fourth in ranking among African militaries as against seventh in 2015.
- Our interventions and yearly budgetary allocations to the Army between 2020 and 2022 alone, have been 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.
- From 2017 to 2022, 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. This translates to significant increment in the Army’s equipment holding since 2015.
- With the significant improvement in the fighting power as a result of the procurement of equipment and mission specific training, the Army was empowered to rejig its operations. Accordingly, the Army has restructured the conduct of its operations to meet current realities. The quantum of platforms inducted into the Army since 2015 had enabled troops to take the battle to the terrorists and criminals, particularly in the North East resulting in the recapture of territories hitherto held by the insurgents.
- The efforts of the troops leading to unprecedented successes was evident in the increased number of neutralized insurgents and those that voluntarily surrendered alongside their families for radicalization and rehabilitation through Operation SAFE CORRIDOR. This feat has continued to be replicated in other theatres of operation within the country leading to the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons to their ancestral homes and restoration of economic activities in addition to the contribution of the Nigerian Army to global peace through Peace Support Operations.
- Furthermore, the creation of the Army Aviation is one of the major aspects of the ongoing expansion process in the Nigerian Army. The renewed vigour for the operationalization of the Army Aviation emanated from a strong desire to effectively tackle contemporary security challenges across the country. This unit, when fully operationalized, will provide rapid deployment, close air support, casualty evacuation, prompt delivery of logistics supply, among other roles.
- As an administration, we have demonstrated commitment to increase the strength of the Armed Forces in my resolve to secure the country all challenges. It is instructive to state that from 2015 when I was sworn in as the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces Federal Republic of Nigeria, I facilitated the recruitment of over 60,000 soldiers from Depot Nigerian Army aside thousands commissioned from the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna.
- In the area of troops’ welfare this administration has facilitated the approval of Manual for Financial Administration which has greatly enhanced the pay and allowances of troops. This has no doubt boosted troops’ morale and enhanced their zeal to discharge their constitutional mandate. Furthermore, in line with my resolve to cater for the families of deceased personnel, over 50,000 children and wards of personnel who died in active service are on the Nigerian Army scholarships from 2015 to date.
- In terms of infrastructural development, this administration has made determined efforts to surmount the deficit in accommodation and other amenities. As the strength of the Army increased, special interventions were made to construct new barracks accommodation and renovate the old ones.
- So far, hundreds of new blocks of accommodation were constructed and thousands of the old housing units were renovated and remodeled in various formations and units across the country between 2016 and 2022.
- Currently, massive construction works are ongoing in the new Muhammadu Buhari Barracks, Abuja and other barracks to provide the requisite offices, houses and facilities to cater for the increasing strength of the Army personnel.
- Let me at this point express my gratitude to the Chief of Defence Staff, all the other Service Chiefs and heads of all para – military organizations for their commitment and selfless service to this nation. The Nigerian Army that we celebrate today, would not have been able to discharge its responsibilities optimally including today’s Trooping and Presentation of Colours without your collaborative support.
- I wish to commend all Nigerians for their perseverance, support and to state that the country will continue to rely on support from all segments of the Nigerian society in ensuring the maintenance of peace and security of our nation.
- Once again congratulations to the Nigerian Army and God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.