By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Prof Emeritus Munzali Jibrin has tasked the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) to put practical application of research to address specific developmental challenges and problems.
Jibrin, a former Executive Secretary National Universities Commission (NUC), gave the charge at a three-day Academic Strategic Planning Retreat 2022 at NDA on Saturday in Kaduna.
According to him, the task is an enormous one, which is to make sure that henceforth, projects have practical applications not to do research for its own sake, but to do applied research to address specific developmental challenges and problems.
He added that they advocate for development of ‘triple helix’, a tripartite cooperation between universities, government and industries so that government funds for research projects for universities and industries adopt the products and commercialize it.
“This is how a number of countries have taken up into the industrial age and we hope that when we get our acts up together in Nigeria, same thing will also happen.
He noted that institutions would play the role of giving leadership in carrying out relevant applied research that could be used to address developmental problems and challenges.
“I think this is what the Nigerian Defence Academy is doing as you can see new inventions, kitchen, laundry and many other things invented by the centre for innovation,” he pointed out.
Also, a former Provost of the academy, Prof Emeritus Azubike NwanKwo said that NDA has a unique position to impact national development because of its confine between national defence and national development.
Nwankwo, a former provost of the academy, said that it’s not surprising that the NDA is showing a predilection towards critical issues of daily living in Nigeria for the technological advancement for systems and processes.
“Not only within the immediate environment of the NDA, but the Armed Forces and the general public.
“NDA as a relatively young university, is actually making a remarkable strive, looking at the innovations on display, it has been going on exhibitions in science and technology and taking first position among Nigeria universities.
“Looking at this, NDA is a developmental agent for Nigeria not only a military university, but it is at the forefront of pushing and expanding the frontiers of knowledge in terms of sciences, technology and related defense and security areas.
The Commandant NDA, Maj-Gen Ibrahim Yusuf said, the ultimate objective of the retreat was to enable the academy with the support of external partners from other universities articulate a comprehensive strategic plan that would guide their academic programmes.
Yusuf said the engagement has been quite fruitful.
“We have participants from the universities of Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Nigerian Army University among others.
“All the inputs we received from them would be looked critically into by setting up an internal committee and try to see how we can optimise the recommendations and ultimately we expect from the next one month to have a strategic document that would guide the academic branch of the NDA for the next five to ten years,” he said.
He added that postgraduate programmes are already open to the public, noting that one of the outcomes of the retreat is the need for the NDA to begin to engage the industries so that their research outcomes would be reintegratedinto what the industries are doing.
He added that the academic strategic planning retreat 2022 will place NDA on the path to greater progression.
Yusuf averred that there is a need for a more robust retreat which will draw seasoned professors from leading universities across the country who would bring their wealth of knowledge and experience into propelling NDA towards becoming the best ranking university in Nigeria and the world at large.
The Commandant revealed that under his leadership, NDA, has reflected on the nature and dynamics of the threats confronting the society today.
“We reviewed the military aspect of training officer cadets to world class standards in order to enable them confront and tackle contemporary military challenges after their commissioning into the Armed Forces of Nigeria as young leaders,” he said.