National Defence College History and Background
The National Defence College is the apex military training institution for the Nigerian Armed Forces, and a Centre of Excellence for peace support operations training at the strategic level in West Africa.
The National Defence College (NDC) was established in 1992 as the highest military institution for the training of senior military officers in Nigeria.
Since the Nigerian Armed Forces had long established a strong tri-service military training heritage with the establishment of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, for cadet training, and the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji, for middle level staff training, it was appropriate and cost effective to continue the tradition by establishing the new strategic level military institution, the National Defence College, on a tri-service basis.
The NDC started operating from a temporary site at the former Ministry of Foreign Affairs building at the Marina, Lagos. In August, 1995, the College was moved from Lagos to Abuja (the new Federal Capital), to yet another temporary site located at Herbert Macaulay Way (North), adjacent to the prestigious International Conference Centre.The permanent site is at Piwoyi, along airport road, Abuja (FCT).
The then Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Sani Abacha, inaugurated the NWC Course 4 on 14 September, 1995, to herald the movement of the College to its new temporary site.
Plans are underway to relocate the College finally to its permanent site in Piwoyi, along Airport Road, Abuja (FCT).
To impart knowledge and develop expertise and skills of selected senior military and civilian officers through a firm understanding of the essential factors that impact on national security and prepare them for higher responsibilities at operational and strategic levels in national and international assignments.
The Objectives of the College are to:
- Prepare senior military and civilian officers for operational and strategic level responsibilities at national and international environments.
- Underpin leadership and command functions with a firm understanding of geographical considerations affecting Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.
- Develop an in-depth understanding of elements of national power which will aid in the formulation of grand national strategy.
- Provide knowledge of the political and strategic framework for policy making and operations in joint and multinational environments.
- Relate within a democratic framework, the higher management of defence to the broader national interests.
- Undertake advanced academic research at national strategic policy level.
- Proffer policy recommendations on specific national and international issues that border on national security.
The Crest of the College is made up of two circles with a white background. The space within the inner circle is stripped in the national colours, green-white-green, while the name of the College is inscribed in the lower part of the white space between the two circles. Within the inner circle, the armed forces insignia is placed on the white background between the two green colours. An eagle and a searchlight of peace are placed in succession on top of the emblem.
At the base is a scroll in yellow parchment bearing the College motto: Intellect, Courage and Patriotism.
The National Defence College provides the highest level of formal military education intended to inculcate a sense of advanced military professionalism and involvement in the decision-making process under democratic political culture and structures.
In the pursuit of its professional training programmes, the College has developed sound and consistent military expertise in the study of policy options as to where, when and how the application of force could be applied for security and peaceful purposes.
To achieve this educational objective, Participants are encouraged to be imaginative and creative and to cultivate the confidence of expressing their views openly. In order to encourage this, the College applies a fine exchange of ideas through a "Rotunda Rules" policy of non-attribution in the Auditorium, where Participants, Staff and members of the Directing Staff (DS) will be able to express personal views frankly but privately to a privileged audience.
The curriculum of the College is designed to be provocative, demanding and rigorous. Participants will be faced with a variety of problems for which there is no College 'template solution'. They will be encouraged to consider and challenge their own intellectual assumptions and standpoints about the nature of war, peace, leadership, politics, ethics and the application of force.
The College, therefore, works intensively at the conceptional level, researching and analysing issues in depth, to produce well informed, critical judgements, and to cultivate the art of intelligent questioning and conceptual thinking. Overall, the intention is that the National Defence College and its Fellows should play a part in the evolution of military thoughts to meet the new circumstances of the 21st century.
The mission and philosophy of the College is pursued through lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences and syndicate assignments.
The participants also write term papers and all - year round research projects on approved topics. There are also geo-strategic tours of the nation, African continent and other parts of the world.
The activities of the College are conducted in the English Language.
The Federal Capital Territory Abuja, where the College is sited, is situated at the heart of Nigeria. It is centrally located and is easily accessible from all parts of the country by road and air. The major international airports with connecting flights to Abuja are the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano. The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja also operates international flights.
The city is centrally located in the Guinea Savannah region of the Middle Belt. It has two seasons, namely, the dry and rainy seasons. The dry season is characterised by bright sunshine from October to about the end of March of each year while the rainy season starts from around mid March to October.
Abuja landscape has beautiful natural features, with lowlands and rolling hills dotted with isolated highlands and massive granite bases. The hills include the Gun range in the NORTH-WEST, the Bwari-Aso in the NORTH-EAST, the Gurfate range in the South-West of Suleja and the Idon Kasa range in the North-West of Gwagwalada. The North East has the highest peaks in the territory with many reaching over 760m above sea level.