SK Usman, Abuja: As part of the efforts to further enhance the professional efficiency and capabilities of the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General TY Buratai has led a delegation to the Republic of Korea to seek strategic bi-lateral collaboration in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.
The visit which was at the instance of KIA Motors Corporation, was further aimed at improving the capacity building of the Nigerian Army by Republic of Korea in the areas of military logistic, intelligence gathering, army aviation and military vehicle manufacturing.
The visit began on 16th January 2019 with a courtesy call to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Korean Armed Forces, General Park Hanki, at his office.
During the visit, both emphasised the need for more collaboration between the Republic of Korean and the Nigerian military especially in the areas of training and equipment support. They also promised to further enhance the relationship between the Republic of Korea military and the Nigerian Army.
Lieutenant General TY Buratai also paid similar visit to Chief of Staff Republic of Korean Army, General Kim Yong-woo, where they exchanged ideas and emphasised on the need for further collaboration between both Armies.
Thereafter, the COAS was at the Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA), at Duteopbawi-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, which was equivalent to Defence Industries of Nigeria (DICON). While there, he interacted with the Minister in charge, Mr Wang Jung Hong and other management staff of DAPA on ways of further collaboration between DAPA and the Nigerian Army.
As part of his itinerary, the COAS also visited the Headquarters of 11th Infantry Division of the Korean Army, at Hong Cheon. On arrival, he was received by the Commander, Major General Kim, who briefed him on the organisation, operations and exploits of the Division. The Division also displayed the sophistication and potency of some of the formation’s equipment and Armoured Fighting Vehicles for the COAS.
On Friday 18th January 2019, the COAS and members of his delegation were at the Corporate headquarters of KIA Motors Corporation, Gwangju, where they were received and briefed by Mr Il -Tae Kim, Director Special Vehicle Global Sales Group. Thereafter, they were conducted round the company’s manufacturing plants particularly the KIA Light Tactical Vehicles manufacturing plants.
The COAS also had another meeting with Mr Il-Seop Lee, the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Special Vehicle Division of KIA Motors Corporation in Seoul. Present at the occasion was Mr Ik-tae Kim, Director, Special Vehicles Global Sales Group.
The COAS was accompanied on the visit by Major General VO Ezugwu, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the newly established Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company, Brigadier General Hussein Ahmed, Acting Provost Marshall (Army) and the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General SK Usman.
Earlier on arrival at Incheon International Airport, Seoul, on Wednesday 16th January 2019, the COAS and the entourage were received by Mr Gabriel Olufemi Asaolu, a Minister with Nigerian Embassy at Seoul, Republic of Korea, Nigeria’s Defence Adviser to Beijing, Major General TOB Ademola, Navy Commodore EO Ferreira, Nigeria’s Defence Adviser to New Delhi, Republic of Korean military delegation and some officials of Kia Motors Corporation. They also accompanied the COAS delegation throughout the visit.
SANI KUKASHEKA USMAN