The National Defence College Nigeria will be hosting the Planning Conferences for Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Command Post Exercise scheduled for December 2019. This was disclosed when a delegation from ECOWAS paid a courtesy visit to the Commandant NDC, Rear Admiral Mackson Kadiri in his office recently.
General Francis Benhanzin (left) and the Commandant, NDC Nigeria, Rear Admiral MM Kadiri
Speaking during the visit, the leader of the ECOWAS Delegation, General Francis Benhanzin, thanked the Commandant for the continued support of the College to ECOWAS through its College Centre of Strategic Research and Studies which was designated by ECOWAS as well as African Union as the Strategic Level Training Centre of Excellence. The Centre trains very senior military, police and civilian personnel for the ECOWAS Standby Force, as part of its contribution to the development of the African Standby Force and the African Peace and Security Architecture.
General Benhanzin noted that ECOWAS Commission will be organizing a Command Post Exercise (CPX) in collaboration with ECOWAS Training Centres of Excellence (TCE), Members States and Development Partners among others. As one of the TCEs, NDC is billed to host the Initial Planning Conference (IPC), Main Planning Conference (MPC), Final Planning Conference (FPC), Scenario Development Workshop, Strategic HQs Training (SHQ) and the Exercise Play. Also, the delegation requested NDC to consider the logistical, infrastructure and communications requirement that can be committed to host the CPX.
Responding, the Commandant Rear Admiral Kadiri, thanked the leader of team for the visit. He praised ECOWAS for the contributions made to resolve conflicts in the West Africa sub region. He added that the College will continue to support ECOWAS in any capacity within its reach to ensure the successful conduct CPX 2019.
The Honourable Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd), has inaugurated Course 28 participants of the National Defence College (NDC). The event was conducted at the NDC Auditorium in Abuja on Tuesday 17 September 2019. Speaking at the occasion, the Honourable Minister noted that the theme of the inauguration lecture, “Economic Diversification and National Development in Nigeria” was in line with one of the strategic objectives of the Federal Government in ensuring sustainable economic stability, growth and prosperity.
Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, First Bank Nigeria
The Minister said that government had sought to expand the non-oil sectors such as science and technology, agriculture, industrialization and tourism. He added that the expansion of transportation infrastructure such as rail and facilitation of an enabling business environment with improved ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’ are all part of the overall processes of diversifying the economy.
The Minister thereafter express confidence in the guest lecturer and her capacity to speak on the theme of the lecture. He said, “I am therefore confident that the guest lecturer will do justice to the selected topic which falls within her area of expertise. “It is on this note that I congratulate the participants for their nomination for the course and the college for another milestone in its history. It is my pleasure and honour therefore, to formally inaugurate the National Defence College Course 28,”
The guest lecturer at the event Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, First Bank Nigeria, while delivering the graduation Lecture, identified the need for a national education plan for youths of the country in order to positively engage the youths and also ensure economic diversification and development to tackle security challenges in the Country. Mrs Awosika said that the nation’s security challenges could be addressed through widespread development and deliberate structuring of economic opportunities which are abound in every state of the federation.
Cross-section of Participants of NDC Course 28
She further explained that the increasing rural migration to a few urban cities would continue to pose security challenges if left unchecked. Mrs. Awosika added that providing distributed economic development around the country would minimize migration to cities and counter security challenges. According to her “If we don’t engage our teaming population made up of able bodied young people who are supposed to be our national assets, they would become a national problem. We need a lot of SMEs to be able to employ because the largest employers of labour are the SMEs even in developed countries like the U.S. “We need to deliberately encourage the creation of businesses through enterprise education. We need a more holistic and strategic plan for our population in terms of employment,”
She also advocated that reliance on oil should be de-emphasized and urged government to begin to look at other opportunities across the country. According to her, insecurity in the country is occasioned by the lack of job opportunities, adding that the role of security and development is key to peace and stability.
Earlier, the Commandant, NDC, Rear Adm. Mackson Kadiri, stated that the inauguration of NDC Course 28 was assumed that participants had all been found worthy and required to assume the enormous and inherent responsibilities, without objections.
He further explained that the participants would be guided by the core values of intellect, courage and patriotism to improve their knowledge skills, aptitudes and attitudes for strategic level military and non-military engagements in both national and international assignments. He added that the participants would be faced with a variety of conceptual, hypothetical, real and simulated strategic level challenges for which there were no template solutions. He said, “you will thus be required to engage in long study and deep thought to challenge your assumptions on a number of security, defence and related subjects. “Additionally, you will be required to interrogate national policies, strategies, operations, resource management and success criteria on a variety of related subjects. “In keeping with the multi-dimensional nature of security and defence, participants will be groomed in a number of security themes such as the state and socio-political environment, economy and finance. “They will also be groomed in science and technology, international and regional affairs, conflict and war studies, Peace Support Operations as well as national crisis management.
“These are geared to develop the art and science of statecraft and strategy for effective national security and defence management,”
Admiral Kadiri further mentioned that the course had been designed to acutely interrogate the wider implications for security from a particular element of national power. He said, participants will be required to study the aspirations, processes and programmes, challenges and prospects of economic diversification on national defence, security and development in due course.
The Commandant therefore urged the participants to show willingness, readiness and resilience to actively participate and benefit from the career changing experiences of the course. “Share your requisite experiences and improve your overall capacities for future professional engagements. “For the allied participants, I particularly enjoin you to make personal friendships and cultural exchanges and above all help to consolidate the existing relationships of our nations in furtherance of international peace and security,” he said.
The President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Mohammadu Buhari has commended the efforts of the Commandant, National Defence College and staff for remarkable achievements in upholding the universal values of Defence Colleges around the globe. The President made the commendation recently at the college in Abuja, during the Graduation Ceremony of Participants of Course 27.
President Buhari noted that defence colleges prepare participants for military strategic leadership focusing on national security, military strategy, theatre strategy, joint planning processes, inter- agency, inter-governmental and multi-national capabilities as well as integration. The President stated that he was very pleased that NDC has steadfastly kept faith with the universal values of defence colleges, noting that after 27 years the college has stayed true to its mandate of strategic training of senior officers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and Strategic Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as military officers from friendly nations.
Furthermore, the President noted the great deal of work by the management of the college to expand the infrastructural capability and facilities of the college, particularly in the permanent site at Piwoyi, to provide a conducive and amenable environment for teaching, learning and research. He added that this has been accompanied by efforts to involve a broad-based, but a curriculum that is fit-for-purpose. A curriculum that speaks to the requirements of essential knowledge, Skills and Aptitudes of millennium officers and the critical need for higher capabilities to face dynamic contemporary national and international security challenges. According to him, “these efforts are helping to sustain the status of the College as the foremost strategic military training institution and the flagship of military research in Nigeria”. He therefore, commended the Commandant and the staff for the remarkable achievements and added that Government will continue to support the College in its development strides, particularly the speedy completion of the permanent site.
The Graduation Ceremony was the high point of a week-long activities to mark the end of course 27. A total of 127 participants from the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Airforce, Nigeria Police Force, Strategic Institutions/ Ministries, Departments and Agencies and International participants graduated from the Course. Other activities of the Graduation Ceremony were the Graduation Lecture, delivered by the Sierra-Leone President, His Excellency, Mr Julius Maada Bio, the Graduation Dinner at the college premises and the National Defence College Officers’ Wives Association Seminar held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.