Lawmaker calls for establishment of defence academy in Delta

A Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) should be established in Delta, according to Ned Nwoko (PDP-Delta), who represents the Delta North senatorial district.

In an interview conducted in Abuja on Tuesday, Mr. Nwoko, a member of the Senate Committee on Security, made the request.

He claimed that the need for greater access to military education arose from the burgeoning population and the shortcomings of Kaduna’s NDA.

According to him, with only 441 cadets selected from over 30,000 applicants in 2023, the necessity for a second academy is evident.

In addition, he said that it would promote national integration, boost economic growth, and give leadership training in addition to addressing the need of skilled workers for national security requirements.

He claimed that, when paired with the current NDA in Kaduna, this will eventually lead to a more secure and inclusive Nigeria.

He stated that he has proposed a bill called “Act to Establish Nigerian Defence Academy in Delta State” before the Senate in light of this.

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.

According to him, the goals and missions of the current NDA, Kaduna, will be aligned with the training of officers for the Nigerian Armed Forces by the NDA in Delta.

He added that it would adhere to the military and academic guidelines set by the Nigerian Armed Forces and the National Universities Commission.

In addition, Mr. Nwoko stated that the Ministry of Defence, along with the Armed Forces Council and the National Universities Commission, will be in charge of the establishment, management, and oversight of the NDA Delta.

He claims that in the event that NDA Delta is founded, a governing board made up of officials from the Ministry of Defence, the Nigerian Armed Forces, academics, and other interested parties will be assembled to supervise the organization’s operations, budget, and policy direction.

“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 said.

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 would also have civilian academic staff and military instructors to facilitate a comprehensive educational experience if established.

“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,” Mr Nwoko said.