The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday said the Nigerian Defence Academy has manifested the Federal Government vision of repositioning the Armed Forces to meet emerging security challenges in the country.
Osinbajo made the remark at the 29th Convocation of the NDA in Kaduna.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Osinbajo was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to attend the passing out of the 66 Regular Course participants on Saturday.
The vice president was particularly elated with the establishment of the new faculty of Military Science and Interdisciplinary Studies, and commencement of new courses in intelligence and cyber security, defense logistics supply chain management and defense science and technology by the academy.
He said: “It is a clear demonstration of the new direction the NDA is charting in meeting the peculiar needs of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.”
He added that over the years, the NDA has invested heavily on staff development, teaching, technology and infrastructure, and carved a niche for itself as the only institution dedicated solely to research, defense and security studies.
Osinbajo said: “Without any doubt all this attributes and more have make NDA the destination of choice for industrialists and government MDAs seeking to further extend their frontiers and meet up with the trends in technologies and development.”
Osinbajo said the NDA has come of age as the top military academy in Africa since its establishment in 1954.
He said: “The NDA has produced military officers for the armed forces of Nigeria.
“It is therefore not surprising that in just over three decades since it became the premier military university in Africa, the academy has earned itself a reputation for discipline , academic excellence and integrity.
“I commend the institution for meeting the needs of modernizing Armed Forces of Nigeria, the nation looks on to the NDA to lead the way in responding to some of the critical challenges in areas of professionalism and national development.
“These challenges are in the areas of modern economy and society and the need to align military training with the profound impact of science and technology on character of war in the age of information.”
The VP said as the barriers separating human society continue to collapse, and the Global community continue to integrate, “education is key in engendering a knowledge driven economy.
He said: “It is in the light of this that the federal government recently embarked on the program of reforming the education system in the country.”
Osinbajo said under this program, policies have been brought to close the gap between degree and higher national diploma and also to increase skills and competence of graduates of Nigerian institutions of higher education on a scale that enhances their capacity for self-employment and competitiveness.
He noted that the NDA has been an early bird in this regard, adding that with regard to military training, the academy must continue with the established tradition of respect for human rights.
He further emphasis that the development of knowledge economy and military professionalism are mutual reinforcements that are key to attainment of Nigeria’s global competitiveness.
He said: “I charge the soon to be commissioned officers cadet to continually develop their knowledge on modern military profession.
“To the graduating cadets , your professional callings required you to be disciplined, having acquired the core competence to lead soldiers and manage men and materials in operational and tactical moments.”
He charged the graduating students to add value to the country in the discharge of their duties, and assured that the Federal Government is committed to succeed in the delivery of its policy priorities, which includes national security, economic growth and anti-corruption.
He said: “This administration has in addition embarked on numerous interventions in critical sectors of our country.
“The government is also pursuing a major transformation of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in order to protect our territorial integrity; an investment that will inevitably lead to economic growth.”
He said the significant successes recorded in the fight against Boko haram insurgency in the Northeast and other threats to national security are happening in the light of the government reforms and capacity enhancement.
He said: “The federal government will support initiatives and programs that will build the efficiencies and effectiveness of our armed forces.”
NAN report that a total of 1,146 students were awarded post graduate certificates and 416 first awarded with Degrees.
NAN also report that a prominent businessman, Alhaji Muhammad Indimi, was conferred with honorary Doctorate Degree of Management Sciences; Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President African Development Bank, received honourary Doctorate Degree in Management science, and retired Lt.-Gen Isaac Obiakor, a former Military Adviser at United Nation was awarded