By Sumaila Ogbaje
The National Defence College (NDC), on Friday graduated 113 participants of its Course 31 drawn from the Armed Forces, strategic ministries, departments and agencies.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that other participants were also drawn from 20 friendly countries.
Rear Adm. Olumuyiwa Olotu, Commandant, NDC, in his remarks at the event said that the composition of the participants included 39 Nigerian Army officers, 22 Nigerian Navy officers and five Nigerian Air Force officers.
He said others included six Nigerian Police Force officers, 20 personnel from various MDAs and paramilitary organisations, as well as 21 officials from foreign countries.
He said the graduation ceremony was organised to honour the ladies and gentlemen who had diligently participated in various strategic paper writing exercises and field trips over the last 11 months.
“The total number of participants graduating today, as we have been told, is 113 persons drawn from the Armed Forces of Nigeria, selected strategic ministries, departments and agencies of the Government of Nigeria, as well as from 20 friendly countries.
“Composition of the participants includes 39 Nigerian Army officers, 22 Nigerian Navy officers, 5 Nigerian Air Force officers, six Nigerian Police Force officers, and 20 officers from various ministries, departments, agencies and paramilitary organizations, as well as 21 officers from foreign countries.
“These ladies and gentlemen have diligently participated in various strategic paper writing exercises and few trips over the last 11 months, and this is the day to honour them accordingly,” he said.
The commandant said that the college was established on June 16, 1992 as the National War College with the mission to develop future leaders, sufficiently equipped to analyse issues as well as provide strategic leadership among others.
He also said the college community had provided quality academic and administrative supports throughout the duration of the course.
According to him, the Module 9 of the College Course Curriculum is dedicated to the higher management of defence package involving exercises that simulate real life scenarios and review of national defence and security policies.
“Remarkably, the exercises for this year were focused on some of the most daunting security challenges facing Nigeria and through these exercises the college has equipped the participants with adequate knowledge and skills necessary to face the current volatile and complex environment.
“Participants have also received specific training in strategic decision making, future strategic perspectives, net analysis and policy implementation.
“It is therefore envisaged that this set of participants will contribute to covering implementable solutions to current and future national, regional and indeed global challenges,” he added.
Olotu further said that the college had over the years trained several resourceful senior officers in both civil and military domains from foreign nations, which had enabled the building of bonds among the alumni.
He added that the college also leverages the opportunity to build bridges across nations and this is achieved through interpersonal relationships established by the Nigerian participants and their foreign counterparts.
“It is heartwarming to note that in its 31 years of existence, the college has made significant impact on several sectors of Nigeria and the various participants from within and outside the country contribute to policy issues which affect the nation in one way or the other.
“I’m equally proud to say that the long line of this college have been involved in national assignments and varying degrees with great successes, thus projecting the image of the college in good light.
“Doubtlessly, the college has made footprints in the political terrain of not just Nigeria, in the West African Sub region and beyond,” he added.
NAN reports that the graduation ceremony involved awards of Fellow of Defence College (FDC) and Masters Degree in Strategic Studies to participants after 11 months of intensive training as well as award of excellence for outstanding research papers to deserving participants.
One of the foreign participants, Col. George Ngue Baha from the Cameroonian Air Force, said the course had enriched his knowledge in both strategic and command levels to address security challenges in his country.
Ngue Baha said the challenges of security and development in Africa required broad approaches to tackling them and commended the Nigerian Government and the college for affording him the opportunity. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Deborah Coker/Julius Toba-Jegede