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Merging NDA with Army varsity, counterproductive, Borno elders tell FG


By Nathaniel Zacchaeus, Abuja


The Borno Concern Citizens (BCC), has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the National Assembly, to stop the plan to merge the Nigerian Army University Biu (NAUB) with the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna.

The elders said doing so would be counter-productive.

The group stated this in a letter written to President Tinubu and the National Assembly leadership through the committee set up by the Federal Government to implement the Oronsaye report.

The committee was supposed to lead the merger of federal government agencies.

The panel has commenced its work, but the Borno Concern Citizens insisted that mixing up the civilian population from the Nigerian Army University Biu with the NDA will be counterproductive.

The appeal letter was signed by Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim (Dan Masanin Biu) for the Borno State Concerned Citizens.

The elders said they were bringing up the issue now in order not to obfuscate the whole process.

The letter appealed to the Committee to reconsider the proposed merger of the Nigerian Defence Academy and the Nigerian Army University Biu and allow each to play its distinctive role in the overall interest of the nation.

It will be recalled that the  NDA was established on 5th January, 1964, through the merging of the Royal Military Forces Training College (RMFTC), which is the training Institution for the Army; and the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC), which was responsible for training officers for the Nigerian Army, Navy and the Air Force.

NAUB on the other hand, was established in 2018, with a special mandate as a hub for innovation and technological development for the Nigerian Defence sector and the nation, in order to meet the rapid development in the dynamics of modern warfare and other ancillary matters; which came years after the Oronsaye report.

Part of the Borno elders’ letter read, “Further aware that in establishing NAUB, due process and rule of law were strictly adhered to and approvals were sought from the National Universities Commission (NUC), the Federal Ministry of Education and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its meeting of 11th April 2018.

“The development later culminated in an Act of National Assembly accented to by the President on the 1 April, 2021.

“Subsequently the Act was published on 7th April, 2021 in a gazette No.110 Vol.108 Nigerian Army University, Biu (Establishment) Act 2020.

“Also notes that the vision of the University as conceptualized is to become a solutions centre in technology, research and development for the promotion of self-reliance, creativity and innovation in addressing the educational challenges of the Nigeria Army, Military as well as the nation.

“This vision was derived from the experiences of similar Universities all over the world such as the National Defence University of Technology in China, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh just to mention a few.

“Also aware that the University is an assemblage, which comprise of 75 per cent civilian and 25 per cent Military population, with a mixed staff strength, made up of both military and civilian intellectuals.

“Its programmes are carefully crafted and structured to strengthen the Nigerian Army and the nation, through sound and innovative application and deployment of science and technology,” the group said.

The Borno State Concerned Citizens said they are worried that the merging of these two distinct institutions will not augur well for the sacred nature of military training and defence system.

The letter added, “The Nigerian Defence Academy is a specialised Institution, strategically positioned to train officers for the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air Force.

“Therefore, mixing them up will civilians from the Nigerian Army University Biu will be counterproductive.

“Also worried that the merger of these two Institutions was not part of the initial Oronsaye Report of 2012 as well as the reviewed one.

“Therefore, it will be out of place to include them in the lists of institutions to be streamlined or merged as proposed.

“Observed that many bills for the establishment of Universities and Institutions of higher learning were passed by the National Assembly and signed into law after the establishment of NAUB.

“Also observed that the National Assembly has passed and will continue to pass bills for the establishment of tertiary institutions in the country as it becomes necessary.

“That more licenses for establishment of private universities have also been granted by NUC because of the inadequate number of tertiary institutions in the country.”


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