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Nigerian Army gives all Personnel One Year to learn Igbo, Hausa & Yoruba



Nigerian Army gives all Personnel One Year to learn Igbo, Hausa & Yoruba - BellaNaija

It is now mandatory for all officers and soldiers in the Nigerian Army to understand the 3 major languages in the country – Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba, Premium Times reports.

The Army announced the policy change on Wednesday morning, asking that all its personnel be proficient in the 3 languages by December 2018.

The army spokesperson, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, made the announcement adding that it will be an added advantage of applicants if they already are proficient in the languages.

The new policy will ensure better communication with the populace, Usman said, and will enhance information gathering.

Read the Army’s full statement below:


1. The Nigerian Army has introduced a new Language Policy. 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.

2. 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 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.

3. 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.

4. 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


  1. Tessa Doghor

    November 22, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Miracle workers

  2. zzzzzzzzzzz

    November 22, 2017 at 11:56 am

    At least one not all three, even in the media you are expected to be fluent in at least 2.

  3. A Nigerian

    November 22, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Great Job!! Definitely a welcomed development, and a much-needed one! This is a step in the right direction. Now we should encourage the use and teaching of our languages in other spheres of life as well! Good Job!

  4. Ec

    November 22, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    ?????? jokers

  5. Sherlie Holmes

    November 22, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Lol! While the intent is good, I hope they’re providing some sort of plan of action for this to actually happen instead of just giving blank directives. A rotational program giving them 3-4 months in a town where they’ll be forced to speak and learn these languages may help.

  6. Engoz

    November 22, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    It’s not a bad idea since they said the standard of proficiency is basic. But did they take into cognizance, there are minority groups in the country. An Igbo speaking soldier will have to learn only 2 languages, meanwhile an Ijaw speaking soldier 3. I think they should open up the criteria.

  7. NG

    November 22, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Symbolic of all that is wrong with this country- lack of planning. Lack of respect for organic progression (grammar!). Foresight and planning around it is of no moment.
    Everything is expected to be done with military dispatch. Result? Everything is shoddily done.


    November 22, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Whoever within the Army who instructed Brigadier general Sanni Usman to utter this stupid statement must be out of his mind. This individual officer must be court marshaled for this stupidity. Our soldiers does not need this type of stress at the moment. This will only kill the moral of our soldiers period. President Mohamodu Buhari must force this moron to openly apologize to all rank and file affected period. A word is enough for the wise. I’m just saying.

  9. Van

    November 23, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    This is a stupid idea and an unrealistic plan.

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