NDA DRAWS CURTAINS ON A 3DAY ACADEMIC STRATEGIC PLANNING RETREAT, WITH COMMANDANT ASSURING SUSTAINED IMPLEMENTATION OF OUTCOMES
As the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) concludes a 3 – Day Academic Strategic Planning Retreat which witnessed spirited deliberations on how to advance academic studies at the Academy, Commandant of NDA, Maj Gen IM Yusuf, has given strong assurancees that he will kick-start a process that will ensure speedy implementation and sustainability of the recommendations of the retreat.
Maj Gen Yusuf who was speaking to the press during the closing ceremonies of the NDA Academic Strategic Planning Retreat 2022, disclosed that the strategic plan which will emerge from the exercise will be presented to the NDA Council and carefully monitored to ensure full actualisation.
“All the inputs we received would be looked critically into. We will set up an internal committee and try to see how we can optimise the recommendations. Ultimately, we expect, from the next one month, to have a strategic document that would guide the Academic Branch of the NDA for the next five to ten years.”, he said.
He scored the exercise high in meeting its set objectives because, according to him, all the strategic posers which have been carefully articulated to address key issues in the Academy have been extensively dealt with by the resource persons and other key academics at the retreat. He added that one of the outcomes of the retreat was the need for the NDA to begin to engage industries so as to fully intergrate research outcomes with what the industries are doing.
Also speaking during the retreat, Prof Munzali Jibrin, a former Executive Secretary National Universities Commission (NUC), tasked NDA to institutionalise practical application of research towards addressing specific developmental challenges and problems. According to him, it was necessary to insist on practical applications of research projects, and not to do research for its own sake but to do applied research to address specific developmental challenges and problems.
He advocated for development of ‘triple helix’, a tripartite cooperation between Universities, Government and Industries, so that government funds for research projects for universities and industries adopt the products and commercialize them.
“This is how a number of countries have been taken up into the industrial age and we hope that when we get our acts together in Nigeria, the same thing will also happen.”, he added.
Prof Jubril praised NDA for already making efforts in that direction, as evidenced by the number of innovations NDA has already patented. According to him, “I think this is what the Nigerian Defence Academy is doing as you can see new inventions of mobile kitchen, mobile urinals, mobile laundry and many other things invented by the Academy Centre for Innovation”.
Similarly, a former Provost of the NDA, Prof Emeritus,Sunday Azubike Nwankwo, has said the NDA has a unique position to impact national development because of its conflunce between national defence and national development.
Acvording to Prof Nwankwo it is not surprising that the NDA is showing a predilection towards critical issues of daily living in Nigeria for the technological advancement for systems and processes, not only within the immediate environment of the NDA but the Armed Forces and the the general public.
“NDA, as a relatively young university, is actually making a remarkable stride, looking at the innovations on display. It has also been going on exhibitions in science and technology and emerging first position among Nigeria universities.”, he disclosed.
“Looking at this, NDA is a developmental agent for Nigeria, not only as a military university but it is also at the forefront of pushing and expanding the frontiers of knowledge in terms of sciences, technology and related defense and security areas.
The 3 – day strategic planning retreat witnessed a large turnout of resource persons and participants from various universities notably are resource persons from Universities of Abuja, Ibadan, Ilorin, Nigerian Army University BIU and NARC amongst others. At the end of the exercise a 28 point communique which proffers key recommendations on various aspects of academics activities was released. Some of the recommendations include NDA interfacing with industries through the organising of annual research fairs, reevaluation, reorganisation and restructuring of research centres in the Academy, realigning academic curricula to meet NDA core mandates and introduce special incentives to staff who publish in High Impact Journals, among other recommendations.