ABDULRAHEEM AODU writes on the accolades received by the Nigerian Defence Academy from various quarters before and during its recent convocation and passing out parade
Th e Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) was established in Kaduna in 1964 as a military institution to provide training for the Nigerian Armed Forces’ personnel from Army, Navy and the Air Force. NDA has since extended its scope by providing training militaries of some African countries and non-military men. Th e increasing number of student intakes and developments in the surrounding communities at its old site, necessitated i
ts movement from the site in the heart of Kaduna city to a bigger permanent site at Afaka, along Kaduna Airport road. Challenges of relocation Th e movement however came with challenges for the institution, including the need to move its facilities and structures, some of whom were immovable, to the new site.
Since the 90s NDA has been gradually moving its movable assets, while erecting new structures at the new site to accommodate the increasing number of students, staff and the NDA community. Following Maj. Gen. Mohammed Tahir Ibrahim’s assumption of offi ce as the commandant of NDA some 26 months ago, the development of NDA has taken a new dimension with the innovation of new ideas, expansion of academic programme and completion of 40 various projects including the 3,000 seater NDA auditorium that was commissioned by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, 37kmsq fence round the permanent site that hitherto was costed at N9.4 billion by previous administration but completed with N1 billion.
Other projects completed by the Commandant include, Radio Diagnostic Center, as part of the NDA Medical Center, and laundry that can wash 1,000 uniforms daily, both of which were inaugurated recently by the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Defence, Ambassador Danjuma Sheni. Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state was also at hand to inaugurate the NDA Motor Transport Complex complete with fuel pumps with reserve fuel store that can serve the Academy’s fl eet of cars for three months, and 12 Honker Class troop carrying vehicles (four others being expected) for transportation of the 2, 257 cadets currently studying at the academy, while the Governor also supported the Chief of Air Staff in opening the Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Workshop.
Break throughs Chief of the Air Staff , Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar had earlier inaugurated the Academy’s amoury also built by the current administration. Th e Maj. Gen. Ibrahim administration has completed the indoor gallery range, outdoor open range, NDA crest roundabout, obstacle crossing and remodelled drill shed and fi fth termer hostel accommodation area among other projects.
Completing these laudable projects has not gone unnoticed, as accolades have continued to fl y in from all quarters for the Commandant and his management team for transforming the Academy into what is now an institution Kogi state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello (right), Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Commandant, MajorGeneral Mohammed Ibrahim (right) and GOC 1 Div, Nigerian Army, Major-General Adeniyi Oyebade, during the inauguration NDA Motor Transport Complex, in kaduna recently Photo: Abdul Aodu of pride to Nigerians especially the military hierarchy. Presidential nod Impressed by innovative projects executed by the commandant, the Commander-inChief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, while reviewing the passing out parade has this to said “the NDA has been positioning itself as a hub for innovation.
” “I am already aware of inventions such as an Automated Pop-Up Target System, a Multi-Purpose Combat Mobile Robot, and a Perimeter Surveillance Robot, which the NDA has showcased at various science and technology exhibitions in the recent past,” the President said.
“Th is is laudable and I urge you to sustain the culture.” Th e President, who was represented at the event by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, directed the commandant to do more by collaborating extensively with the private sector, for research and innovation. “All around the country technology hubs are springing up that are attracting Nigeria’s brightest talent, and breaking new technological ground. I am convinced that the military should make its presence felt in this area,” he said.
“Let me also commend the management of the NDA for your eff orts so far in adapting your curriculum and programmes to contemporary realities. I have been told of the recent paradigm shift in the Academy’s training calendar, such that Naval and Air Force cadets now spend only four years in the Academy and then move to their respective bases, in place of the old system that saw them spend all fi ve years in the Academy. “By allowing them to spend their fi nal year within their respective bases is a clear indication of the commitment to producing better-trained and better-prepared Naval and Air Force graduates.”
Osinbajo lauds NDA Addressing the the passing-out cadets at the Convocation ceremony for the 64 regular course of Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air Force as well as 65 regular course of Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air Force and Short service course 44 of Nigerian Army, Prof. Osinbajo said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has a mission of providing quality education to Nigerians including military education to ease the burden of education on the common man.
Th e Vice President, who was represented by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Mohammed Dan Ali, commended the Commandant and staff of NDA for “discharging military and academic training and performing both roles creditably” to churn out “well trained offi cials for our armed forces in maintaining territorial integrity and national security”. He added that the institution has done well in the area of research, teaching and community service.
“It is gladdening that NDA had received National University Commission accreditation in arts and social science, engineering and science. I urge NDA to put together good curriculum and facilities required to sustain and maintain the accreditation,” he said. CDS tasks on maintenance For the Chief of Defence Staff , Gen. Olonisakin, the NDA Commandant, management and staff are to be commended for building the auditorium that can seat over 3,000 people at once, among other facilities and for providing training and maintaining discipline among the cadets. He however tasks the NDA management on maintaining the facility.
“It doesn’t take much to maintain facilities if you are committed, it is easy. Please use it properly and be committed to its maintenance and sustenance.” Th e NDA Commandant, while conducting the CDS around the facility, said the various entrances were named after former commandants who contributed to the building of the facility. Th e Chief of Air Staff , Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, in his commendation, said the Commandant has not failed to be himself, as he has maintained and improved on the discipline of cadets and performance of the institution. He commended the Academy for sustaining capital development and result oriented training.
“In the Academy standards are high and the cadets have done a lot to meet up to expectations.” Kogi gov urges prudence Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state after commissioning the new Motor Transport Complex, 12 Honker troop carrying trucks and witnessing the commissioning of the Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Workshop, commended NDA’s prudent management of resources.
He said prudent usage of resources has remained the watchword of his administration as they try to reach out to all citizens of Kogi state. “I have come, I have seen and I’m taking a very big lesson home from here to Kogi state. Th e last time I came to NDA was in 1998 when it was under construction. Now what I have seen today in this particular visit is tremendous and enormous. I have seen discipline, professionalism and prudent management of resources. Above all, I have seen the display of loyalty to this country by the Nigerian Armed Forces. “
Th at is exactly what we are trying to inculcate in Kogi state and I urge my colleagues in other states to imbibe this culture of prudent management of resources. When we utilize our little resources very well, and it touches the live of every Nigerian there won’t be agitations anywhere and that will translate to discipline and peace in the country. “I want to commend the eff orts of the commandant for what he has done. He has transformed the academy to be one of the best in the world and all we need to do is to give him more support by recommending that the academy is well funded,” Governor Yahaya added.
Commandant appreciates Th e NDA Commandant, Major General Mohammed Ibrahim who lauded the Kogi state Governor for fi nding time to visit the academy and identify with its projects, said the Motor Transport Complex was initiated to curb the expenses of transiting between the old and new site, adding that the cadets activities include exercises done in the bush and they need vehicles to transport them during such exercises.
“Th is is the fi rst time an executive Governor is taking special interest in the Academy by identifying with a project in the Academy. NDA is 53 and most of its facilities are left behind at the old site now Ribadu campus including the Motor Transports Yard. NDA spent so much money traversing between the old and new sites, which added more expenditure to the academy, which is why we put in a budget and it was approved by Mr President for the Motor Transport Yard. “We are happy that you are here to do NDA the honour of commissioning the MT Yard with fuel dispensing station and service bay, and the 12 Honker troop carrying vehicles that were just acquired.
We have plan to acquire additional four numbers of these class of trucks because we have 2,257 cadets running two daily exercises, we have a fl eet of 220 vehicles but they are not enough. “We also have a petroleum lubricant reserve for our vehicles for three months. Th e second phase of the project is for bulldozers, trailers, containers and other heavy duty vehicles that we have,” the NDA Commandant added.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Defence, Ambassador Danjuma Sheni commended the NDA Commandant for completing such number of key projects within 771 days of his leadership at the Academy. “It is an honour for me to commission these projects (the Radio Diagnostic Center and laundry). “In the last 771 days that your Commandant assume offi ce here, he and his team have worked hard to transform the NDA. His eff orts has been commendable in a transformation process that include physical and structural transformation.
Th e Academy has been given focus, direction and much disciplined environment. NDA will continue to grow from glory to glory. . “Offi cers who have judiciously utilised resources allocated to them we commend them. NDA has undergone positive transformation physically, structurally, even in academics in terms of new direction, new focus,” the Perm Sec added.