Why Nigerian Army ordered soldiers to learn Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba in one year
The Nigerian Army has ordered its personnel to learn the three major languages in the country by December 2018.
This is part of a new language police aimed at fostering unity, better communication with the populace and information gathering, the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, said in a statement.
“The study of foreign and local languages is worldwide practice among armies, in which officers and soldiers are encouraged to be multi-lingual,” he said.
The policy is also meant to increase understanding between militaries when operating abroad and assist officers and soldiers to perform their duties professionally.
“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,” the statement read in part.
“Therefore, all Nigerian Army personnel have been given one year to learn the three major Nigerian languages. Invariably, by December 2018, all Nigerian Army personnel are expected to learn the three major Nigerian languages. The standard of proficiency to be attained is the basic level. Certificated proficiency level will attract Language Allowance. “
According to the Army, the ability to speak the three major Nigerian languages will be an added advantage to those applying for recruitment or commissioning into the Nigerian Army.
It, therefore, encouraged prospective to learn Nigerian languages other than their mother tongues.
It added, “Before now, the Nigerian Army officially encouraged the learning of French, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and Swahili. The French language is an assessed subject in some career courses and examinations for Nigerian Army personnel.