The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, has called on the Ministry of Defence to consider developing a unified headquarters complex that will accommodate the ministry and all the armed services in one location.
Olonisakin, who made the call when he received the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Mr Babangida Hussaini, who visited to the Defence Headquarters on Wednesday in Abuja, said the proposed arrangement would facilitate synergy and comply with global best practices.
He noted that such an arrangement had obtained in the past, adding that reverting to it would reduce delays in the dispatch of important operational issues to the ministry, whilst enhancing productivity.
The CDS said that the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) was looking forward to a seamless working relationship with the ministry, because its support and partnership were important for the armed services to execute their constitutional mandate of ensuring peace and stability of the nation.
Responding, Hussaini, said that his visit was based on the need to convey and reaffirm the ministry’s vision and mission, as well as consolidate on the existing cordial relationship it enjoyed with the Defence Headquarters.
He said that the objective of the visit was also to foster effective coordination in policy formulation, implementation and delivery of the ministry’s mandate.
He said that the visit was also to improve the synergy between the military and the civilian organs of defence for effective discharge of the military’s constitutional mandate.
“On my assumption on duty, I noticed some gaps both horizontally and vertically, and this should not be so. We should work together as a team to ensure that the mandate of the armed forces is actualised.
“Also, it is to reaffirm our commitment to do our best to ensure that the services perform their constitutionally assigned mandates efficiently and without distractions,” he said.
Hussaini stressed that the ministry would create the right policy environment for the operational success of the armed forces, while pledging to push for a unified headquarters for the ministry and all the defence services, similar to what obtained at the Pentagon in the U.S.
Apart from visiting the DHQ, the permanent Secretary also visited the headquarters of the Army, Navy and Air Force, where he met with the Service Chiefs.