Academic Branch Holds Strategic Planning Workshop

The core value of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Academic Branch is to transform the NDA into an institution par excellence comparable to any other military degree - awarding institution in the world. In continuing with the realization of this core value and seeing that NDA is positioned among the top ten (10) universities in Nigeria, the Branch has organized the 2017 Strategic Planning Workshop, which among other things will provide and deliver a balanced and well packaged curriculum at the undergraduate and post graduate levels in line with the highest standard prescribed by the National University Commission (NUC).

(L-R) AR, Brig Gen IM Yusuf, CBC, Brig Gen LA Lebo, Dy Comdt, AVM SO Ntukogu, The former Comdt, Maj Gen MT Ibrahim, and AP, Prof AS Nwankwo during the 2017 Strategic Planning Workshop 

Delivering the keynote lecture titled, “Roadmap for Sustaining Academic Excellence: Setting Strategic Direction”, the former  Commandant NDA, Major General MT Ibrahim, acknowledged that academic activities such as this will broaden minds and get rid of prejudices. His lecture focused on the challenges faced by the Blackman right from creation which include hatred, anger, homicidal tendency, greed, avarice, tribal prejudice, religious bigotry and lack of forward planning and foresight. These he said have militated against the progress of the black race and have made change difficult. He urged the participants and the organizers to map out holistic academic and administrative guidelines that will include theorization and conceptual directions of the way forward, restoration of processes and procedures and integrity to NDA system as a whole. According to him, strategic planning is all about futuristic thinking, postulations into the future, periodic review of conditions of service, resources available and how to harmonize these resources to achieve results.

The Former Commandant NDA, Maj Gen MT Ibrahim, delivering the Keynote Address

Advising participants, Major General MT Ibrahim asked them to create a level playing field for everyone especially in the recruitment of staff and selection of cadets, noting that content of character and merit should take precedence over religious and ethnic inclinations.

The Former Commandant, who extolled the workshop as a landmark, a reference point and a remarkable event in the life of the Academy, also thanked the Academy Provost (AP), Professor AS Nwankwo, and the Academy Registrar (AR), Brigadier General IM Yusuf, he thanked them for taking the branch to a new level and asked them to make the workshop a series so that NDA will continue to be rated among the best.

Earlier, the Academy Provost, Professor AS Nwankwo, in his opening remarks appreciated the former  Commandant for providing them the opportunity and support to hold the workshop, noting that the event is a steady, progressive movement towards aligning the Academic Branch with the Vision of the Nigerian Defence  Academy. He noted that academic and academic support staff of NDA need to have clarity of purpose, clear objectives and a framework that will show accomplished targets. He assured that the workshop will also identify incompetence and vulnerability and work out strategy to tackle them so that NDA becomes a change driver rather than being driven by change. He also assured that the workshop will put together a comprehensive guideline that will achieve the Vision of NDA and identify value adding activities in the various areas of operation. He urged the participants to take advantage of the workshop to improve and empower themselves towards attaining and achieving the set goals. 

Academy Provost, Prof AS Nwankwo, presenting his address during the workshop.

Delivering the 1st lecture titled “Reconfiguring the Administrative Machinery to Promote Academic Excellence”, the Academy Registrar Brigadier General IM Yusuf said that administrative machinery is proportional to academic excellence which is achieved through seminars, workshops, networking, registry lecture series etc. According to him, all these put together will help the teaching staff deliver. He noted that in positioning NDA to become one of the top 10 Nigerian universities, it will require clear and realistic Vision and Mission, computerization of academic processes, robust processes and structures, staff integrity and a level playing field in admission and recruitment processes.

“Balancing Academic Training and Cadets Activities” was another lecture delivered by the Cadet Brigade Commander (CBC) Brigadier General LA Lebo. He enumerated the cadets’ activities and academic training and how to balance them to achieve the desired results. Proceeding, he said that the core of cadets training include academic, military and character development training which are harmonized and balanced to produce an all round, developed young officer. He urged all to join in the training of the cadets saying that the development of the cadets is a holistic exercise.

A cross section of some of the participants at the Academic Branch Strategic Plan Workshop

Likewise, the Academy Librarian (AL), Dr Umar Lawal, who presented a lecture, “Learning Resource Centre as a Power House for Academic Excellence” said the Academy Library as a technology serving centre needs to be improved for a better and conducive physical and virtual environment. He proposed a new paradigm shift that will activate the library automation system and online information resource centre.

A former Acting Academy Provost of NDA, Professor SO Okeniyi, in his lecture titled “Building a Solid Foundation for Tomorrow’s Leaders: Overcoming the Challenges of Curriculum Development and Teaching Effectiveness” said the concept of building quality future leaders requires corporate efforts of intellectuals leaning on the vision and mission to deliver the curriculum. He noted that straight and precise curriculum will give rise to quality teaching and ensure that cadets are given the best of education. He prevailed on stakeholders to contribute towards delivering academic qualities to the cadets and advised that the curriculum is an attitude which the cadets learn from. He ended by saying that the curriculum should undergo continuous revision.

Series of lectures were also delivered by seasoned academicians after whom participants were divided into syndicates for brainstorming, contributions, questions, observations and feedback.
The Deans of faculties also gave a brief on their various faculties. They were Professor OE Tangban of the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), Professor SC Osuala of the Faculty of Science (FS) and Dr DS Nyitamen of Faculty of Engineering (FE). Briefs were also entertained from the Heads of Centers. The briefs were geared towards identifying the challenges of the various units while also acknowledging their achievements.
In his vote of thanks, the AR thanked the former Commandant for the support and direction given the branch. He enumerated the supports as staff motivation and incentives, research grants, review of processes and structures, systematic and transparent process in recruitment of staff and enlistment of cadets. Others are, making it possible for staff to access the federal housing scheme loan and renovation and furnishing of the branch. He applauded the former Commandant saying he will go down in history as one that has impacted on the academic branch more than any other in the history of the academy. Finally, he promised the former Commandant that with the AP steering the affairs of the branch, desired result will be delivered.       


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