I am delighted and felt highly honoured to be here today on the occasion of the inauguration of the maiden Strategic Communication Course (SCC) 01/2016 of the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI).
Training and retraining is an important activity in the growth and development of any organization. Training of personnel across board enhances proficiency and professionalism. It is in this regards that the Directorate of Army Public Relations places high premium on the training of its officers and soldiers.
Therefore, the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI), has remained focused in training officers and soldiers of the Directorate and sister Services, to meet the need for well trained and skilled manpower.
At its formative years NASPRI has been running Young Officers’ Course (YOC), to cater for training and development of newly commissioned officers of the Directorate who are seen as green horns in the practice of military public relations and thereafter, the Media Operations Officers’ Course (MOOC) which is equivalent to Platoon Commander’s Course designed to further enhance the capacity of officers in the junior cadre.
To further keep abreast with the career development and progress of officers and the need for capacity and career development, NASPRI introduced Advanced Public Relations Course (APRC) and Strategic Communication Course (SCC) which are equivalent to Company and Battalion Commanders courses respectively. Your course which is the first of its kind is designed to further enhance your professional competencies as you take up more strategic command and staff appointments in various formations of the Nigerian Army and other joint operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other international military engagements. It is hoped that this course will make the desired impact on you and elicit cross fertilization of ideas, healthy debates among the participants. It is our desire also to see at the end of the course, we turn out better informed senior officers well equipped to participate in making strategic decisions that could be used to resonate key messages for the Nigerian Army’s in information management.
This course was supposed to be in the last quarter of the year, however, it has be held now in view of crowded training programme of the school and calendar of events of the Nigerian Army. We are indeed very grateful to the Department of Army Training and Operations (DATOPS) for graciously approving these courses, rescheduling the SCC and for providing the enabling platform for effective training in the school.
Today, we are witnessing the inauguration of the pioneer Strategic Communication Course 1/2016. This is a feat that is highly commendable in view of the fact that NASPRI despite obvious limitation has kept faith with its mandate of training highly competetent and professional public relations practitioners for the Nigerian Army and other Services.
Let me at this point, express our sincere gratitude to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General TY Buratai, for his magnanimity and timely intervention in the school through the release of take-off grant which was used to construct and equip a befitting studio in this school. The structure though very compact, comprises a radio studio, photo and video editing suite with state of the art equipment, in addition to the provision of a 50KVA generator. It is our hope that very soon the COAS will formally commission these projects. We wish to assure the COAS that our training and other endeavour have continuously been in line with the COAS vision which is “to have a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles.” We are indeed very conscious of the importance of public relations and information in the attainment of this lofty vision and we would continue to strive in that direction.
To our distinguished pioneer participants of this course who are mostly Deputy Directors, spokespersons and equivalent in various formations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, I urge you all to please take advantage of this rare opportunity to further develop your knowledge in the practice of public relations, information and communication management during conflict situations or military operations. I want to assure you all, that we would continue to give the necessary support to enable you succeed on this course.
Gentlemen, I wish to further state that the Headquarters of the Directorate of Army Public Relations is making effort on the restructuring to conform with current realities and new developments in our noble profession. To that effect, we have sought the consent of the higher authority of renaming the Directorate and bring about other changes that would open up the space and bring about other specialization.
This address will be inadequate if I fail to commend the effort of my brother and friend, the Commandant, Colonel John Agim PhD, under whose commendable leadership we have achieved this milestone. The efforts of the officers, soldiers and civilian staff of NASPRI is equally appreciated.
I am quite aware of the tremendous support of Corps and formations headquarters, as well as corporate bodies and individuals to the NASPRI.
Thank you so much. I also want to thank all the commanders and senior officers gathered here for finding time out of their busy schedules to identify with us at this great and historical moment in the history of the Directorate of Army Public Relations and NASPRI which is the only military public relations institution in sub-Saharan Africa.
At this juncture, it is my honour and privilege to formally inaugurate the NASPRI Strategic Communication Course 1/2016.
Thank you and God bless.