A 20-member delegation from Nigeria’s National Defence College (NDC), the highest military institution for training of senior military officers in Nigeria, now in Sri Lanka on a goodwill familiarization tour for the first time in the history of both Nigerian and Sri Lankan armed forces, paid a courtesy call on the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya Monday (30) morning at his office at Army Headquarters.
The Nigerian delegation, headed by Commodore Adetokunbo Lateef Akintola is comprised of one more Commodore, Brigadier General, Six Colonels, four Captains, three Group Captains, one Lieutenant Colonel, one Lieutenant of the Nigerian Armed Forces and three civil members.
During their interaction with the Sri Lankan Army Chief, Head of the delegation exchanged cordial views on a variety of training programmes that could be used for the benefit of both organizations in the future.
To signify the importance of the meeting, the visiting Commodore Lateef Akintola presented the Commander of the Army with a symbolic memento. Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya reciprocated the gesture. The visiting military leader left his signature in the VIP book as a formality.
Soon after the representative team of the Nigerian delegation met the Commander of the Army, the Army Directorate of Operations made an elaborate presentation to the delegation on Sri Lanka Army’s post-war roles and ongoing reforms plus the Army’s contribution to nation-building.
The one-week long visit, themed ‘Peace Building & National Development in Sri Lanka’ is a project, initiated by New Delhi-based Nigerian High Commission and subsequently referred to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence and Urban Development for onward action.
The tour is expected to create opportunities for greater cooperation between the Nigerian National Defence College and the Sri Lanka Army. It also enables the visiting military officers to be closely familiarized themselves with the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and learn more about national aims of the armed forces and foreign policies.
During their stay in Sri Lanka, the delegation is scheduled to call on the Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshal Roshan Goonetileke, Commander of the Navy, Commander of the Air Force, Minister of External Affairs, Secretary to Ministry of External Affairs, Governor of the Central Bank and visit Institute of Peace Support Operations Training Sri Lanka, Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies, and a few other places of tourist interest.
NDC, the apex military training institution for the Nigerian Armed Forces and a Centre of Excellence for Peace Support Training at the strategic level in West Africa is quite identical to the academic roles of Sapugaskanda Defence Services Command and Staff College, Kotelawala Defence University, Buttala Officers’ Career Development Centre and Sri Lanka Military Academy.
The NDC works intensively at the conceptual level, researching and analyzing issues in depth, to produce well-informed, critical judgments and to cultivate the art of intelligent questioning while allowing those trainee officers to play a part in the evolution of military thoughts to meet the new circumstances of the 21st century.