The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) and Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) Jaji, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday, 30th January 2024 that will see the NDA facilitate an academic Master’s Degree programme for AFCSC’s Senior Division Course.

The signing of the MoU ceremony,which took place at the Loyalty Conference Hall, Headquarters NDA, Afaka, brings to formality the establishment of an academic Master’s programme for AFCSC Senior Division Course participants and opens up a fresh chapter to a previous collaboration where NDA provided the platform for a professional Masters Degree programme for the AFCSC participants.

Delivering his Address during the signing ceremony, the AFCSC Commandant, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) HI Alhaji, traced the longstanding collaboration between NDA and AFCSC, emphasising NDA’s historical role in facilitating a Master’s Degree programme for AFCSC Senior Division participants.He acknowledged the efforts of the Commandant NDA, Maj Gen JO Ochai, towards renewing this collaboration and making it a formal arrangement.In his words “The Commandant NDA is the principal force behind what is going to happen here today” He disclosed that AFCSC has been in existence for 40 years, therefore it had become imperative for things to move a notch higher with the introduction of the academic Master’s programme, he mentioned.

He described the AFCSC as a centre of excellence, not just for the Nigerian military but to the other Services around the world, considering that it accepts students from 24 countries across Africa, Europe and Asia.

AVM Alhaji expressed AFCSC’s commitment to transformation, underscoring the institution’s international presence, drawing participants from 24 countries across Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Addressing curriculum development in AFCSC, AVM Alhaji mentioned ongoing efforts to revitalise and adapt it to suit contemporary challenges and address the specific needs of the Armed Forces, disclosing that the NDA’s Master’s Degree programme for course participants provides a right impetus for growing the new curriculum. He expressed gratitude to Major General Ochai for formalising this collaboration, which he said will produce better officers not only for the Armed Forces of Nigeria but also for allied countries.

In response, Commandant NDA General JO Ochai buttressed the significance of the collaboration, describing it as a “Win-Win” for NDA, AFCSC, and Armed Forces of Nigeria.He praised AVM Alhaji for initiating the historical decision to introduce the academic Master’s programme, foreseeing its positive impact on producing professional officers for Nigeria and its friendly allied nations.

Major General Ochai also reassured that NDA’s Master’s students would receive a high-quality education, comparable to what is obtainable in prestigious institutions like Kings College London, Oxford as well as Harvard.He also proposed collaboration between AFCSC and UK Staff College, suggesting a mutual exchange of Directing Staff (DS) to enhance intellectual diversity.

Looking ahead, Maj Gen Ochai announced plans to invite the British Military Assistance Training Team (BMATT)to NDA in April for a workshop, fostering collaboration in areas of study relevant to NDA.He emphasized the importance of considering diverse perspectives for informed decision-making and avoiding groupthink.

Highpoint of the signing of the MOU, included signing of visitors book,exchange of souvenirs as well as Quarter Guard inspection .

The colourful ceremony was witnessed by both Deputy Commandants of the NDA and AFCSC, Principal Staff Officers as well as Directors and members of Directing Staff and Deans of Faculties from both prestigious citadels of military training.