Sen. Ned Nwoko, representing Delta North Senatorial District, has called for the establishment of a Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), in Delta.
Nwoko, member Senate Committee on Security, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the call became important because of expanding military education access, especially in the face of a growing population and inadequacy of the one NDA located in Kaduna.
According to him, with only 441 cadets selected from over 30,000 applicants in 2023 the necessity for a second academy is evident.
He also said beyond addressing the shortage of qualified personnel for national security needs, it would also stimulate economic growth, provide leadership training, and foster national integration.
He said this would in the long run contribute to a more inclusive and secure Nigeria alongside the existing NDA in Kaduna.
He said in view of this, he had had proposed a Bill before the Senate entitled “Act to Establish Nigerian Defence Academy in Delta State”.
He explained that the proposed bill seeks to amend the Nigerian Defence Academy Establishment Act by establishing an additional NDA in Delta.
He said that the jurisdiction of NDA Delta if established shall be distinct and shall operate in conjunction with NDA, Kaduna, under the general framework of the NDA.
He said the purpose of the NDA in Delta would also be to train officers for the Armed Forces of Nigeria in alignment with the mission and objectives of the existing NDA, Kaduna.
He further said that it would adhere to academic and military standards prescribed by the National Universities Commission and the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Nwoko also said the establishment, administration, and oversight of the NDA Delta would be under the authority of the Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with the National Universities Commission and the Armed Forces Council.
According to him, if established, a Governing Board comprising representatives of Ministry of Defence, Nigerian Armed Forces, academia, and other stakeholders, will be constituted to oversee its operations, finances, and policy direction of NDA Delta,
“Also it will admit candidates based on specified criteria, including academic qualifications, physical fitness, and character evaluation.
“The curriculum of NDA Delta will include military, academic, and leadership training consistent with the standards set by NDA Kaduna.
“It will have authority to confer degrees in accordance with the guidelines and regulations stipulated by the NUC”, he further told NAN.
The lawmaker also said that adequate funding and resources would be allocated for the establishment and continuous operation of the academy, including infrastructure, equipment, and training facilities.
He said the bill insists that qualified academic and military personnel would be recruited for teaching, research, and administration at the institution adhering to the standards set by the Armed Forces.
He said the NDA Delta if established would also have civilian academic staff and military instructors to facilitate a comprehensive educational experience.
“It will operate under strict military discipline and shall adopt operational guidelines consistent with the Nigerian Armed Forces’ regulations.
“Codes of conduct and disciplinary measures for cadets and staff will be established, ensuring adherence to military standards and ethos”, Nwoko said.
By Deborah Coker( NAN)