The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF),Ahmed Galadima Aminu, has praised the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) for it’s significant contributions in the advancement of knowledge across the country and beyond, noting that NDA has consistently been regarded as a factory for knowledge generation, application, dissemination, and a grooming institution for future military leaders.The PTDF Executive Secretary stated this during his remarks as the Special Guest the 12th NDA Matriculation Ceremony in honour of Cadets of 75 Regular Course, held on Wednesday 29 November, 2023 at the NDA Auditorium Afaka.

Represented by the Head of College of Petroleum and Engineering Studies, Kaduna, Dr Munir Zubairu Surajo, further commended the efforts of the Commandant NDA, Major General JO Ochai, and his Principal Staff Officers for consistently improving the training of Cadets and producing high quality officers in response to the defence needs of Nigeria. “There is no doubt that our nation has benefited a lot from the numerous products of NDA in fighting insurgency”, he added.

Addressing the matriculating cadets , the PTDF boss charged them to adhere to all the rules and regulations guiding their training in NDA as they officially commenced their academic training at the Academy.He advised the young cadets to imbibe good attributes such as discipline, bravery, diligence, honour, perseverance, loyalty, determination and endurance if they hope to fulfil their training goals in the Academy. He further admonished the cadets to stay focused on their training and eschew distractions throughout the period of their training in NDA.

Speaking Further, he reminded the cadets that the matriculation ceremony signifies that Cadets of 75 Regular Course are now formally, officially and ceremoniously admitted into cadetship in NDA. He thus urged the cadets to develop a hunger for excellence, which he noted is an important quality required of any officer in the Armed Forces. He also encouraged them to avoid any temptation that is likely to jeopardise their stay in the Academy.

Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Major General JO Ochai, in welcome remarks disclosed that Matriculation is a unique tradition in most tertiary institutions which is used to formally usher in new students into their respective academic programmes. He added that in NDA, Matriculation usually takes place at the end of a successful 7 – week intensive military orientation programme which fresh cadets are subjected to as soon as they report to NDA for training. He therefore used the opportunity to congratulate the cadets for successfully completing their preparatory wing training noting that it is a bold step as their journey towards becoming an officer in the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Emphasising on the value of hard work in meeting training objectives in NDA, Maj Gen Ochai informed the cadets that the journey to success requires their full determination, hard work and discipline. He also asked them to bear in mind that their entire training in NDA is aimed at equipping them with the right capacity for national defence and the professional discharge of their constitutional responsibilities. “You must therefore live up to expectations and adhere strictly to basic rules and regulations guiding your training in the Academy”, he warned.

Earlier in the day, the Academy conducted an Oath Taking Ceremony for the 75RC Cadets at the Captain Oliver Nzalgana Parade Ground, NDA, Afaka.

At the ceremony which marked the official induction of the cadets into military training in NDA, the Cadets Brigade Commander, Brig Gen OU Odigie, who was Special Guest of Honour at the event, congratulated the cadets on behalf of the Commandant NDA, Maj Gen JO Ochai, staff and officers of the Academy. He disclosed that the ceremony is important because it underlines the willingness and voluntary commitment of the cadets to abide by the tenets of the military profession and obey they rules and regulations of NDA, as well as those of the instructors and staff placed over them. He thus charged the cadets to be well-behaved, have the fear of God, be honest, courageous and prayerful as they begin their stay in the Academy.

A total of 439 cadets, including one foreign cadet from the Republic of the Gambia, were administered the oath of allegiance and matriculated into the Nigerian Defence Academy. At the Matriculation Ceremony, all the 5 Faculties and 23 Departments.of the NDA received cadets into various undergraduate degrees, with the Faculty of Art and Social Sciences receiving the highest total of 138 cadets matriculated into various programmes, followed by the Faculty of Science with 118 cadets, while the Faculty of Engineering and Technology had 37 Cadets. Likewise, the Faculty of Military Sciences received 91 cadets and Faculty of Management Science got 55 cadets.