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Modern Warfare Requirements: Army Introduces New Language Policy for Soldiers and Officers; Ability to Speak Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo, a Must for Troops in Operations.

The Nigerian Army has introduced a new Language Policy for its officers and soldiers as the ability to speak the three major Nigerian languages of Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo is now a must for operations.

Already, the Army disclosed that the study of foreign and local languages is world-wide practice among armies, in which officers and soldiers are encouraged to be multi-lingual.

“The Policy will foster espirit-de-corps and better communication with the populace to enhance information gathering, civil-military relations, increase understanding between militaries when operating abroad and assist officers and soldiers to perform their duties professionally” the Army said.

Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman while making the disclosure in a statement said, “It is to be noted that English remains the official language in the Nigerian Army”.

 “Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa languages could be used during Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities or interrogation”.

“Therefore all Nigerian Army personnel have been given one year to learn the three major Nigerian languages”, he said.

“Invariably, by December 2018, all Nigerian Army personnel are expected to learn the three major Nigerian languages”, he added.

“The standard of proficiency to be attained is the basic level.

“Certificated proficiency level will attract Language Allowance.

“The ability to speak the 3 major Nigerian languages will be an added advantage to those applying for recruitment or commissioning into the Nigerian Army.

“Therefore, prospective candidates are encouraged to learn Nigerian languages other than their mother tongues.

“Before now, the Nigerian Army officially encouraged the learning of French, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and Swahili.

“French language is an assessed subject in some career courses and examinations for Nigerian Army personnel.”


Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman

Director Army Public Relations



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