Ex-Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar on Friday advocated the need for politicians, NGOs, and Stakeholders in the administration of the country to undertake short courses in the Defence College with a view having a better grasp of not only security matters but also nation building.
He made the position known just as he tasked military authorities to seek the upgrade of the National Defence College to a National Defence University status, to rival its counterparts in the developed world.
Abubakar said since all the arms of the nation’s Armed Forces have established their various war colleges for the training of their troops, retaining the status of the National Defence College at the moment would soon become obsolete.
Speaking as guest lecturer at the 25th anniversary of the National Defence College, Abuja, he said the college should be upgraded to what he called “National Defence University adding that time was ripe for the college to be elevated to degree awarding institution.
Emphasizing that modern defence colleges were becoming more engaged in academic activities that leads to the award of higher degrees, Abubakar advised that the college can partner with other institutions of higher learning in the country for similar purpose.
He recommended that time has come for politicians, NGOs and stakeholders to have a better grasp of the nation building and security intricacies in a challenging age we live in, noting ‘they must begin to attend short courses at the college and be quipped for such purposes’.
He advised managers of the college to apply to the National Universities Commission, NUC, to seek elevation of the college to a status that would allow it to award higher degrees in future.
His words, “The NDC should be thinking of becoming a National Defence University with full accreditation by the National Universities Commission to award masters degrees and perhaps even doctorate degrees in the long term.
“I also believe since the services have setup their national war colleges, I believe this will be a good thing if this Defence College is elevated to start giving a degree.”
The former head of state, however lamented that after 25 years the College was still occupying a temporary facility due to non-completion of its permanent site at Piwoyi.
He said it is expedient that government should complete the site as matter of urgency insisting that funds and infrastructure should be allocated and provided for the take-off of the College to become degree awarding institution where it would attract researchers all over the country.
Abubakar advised that alternative funding should be sourced by the college aside the regular budgetary allocations saying “Alternative funding arrangements for the College outside the regular budgetary allocations should be considered. In this regard, the college could research into alternative sources of funding and make its recommendations to government for consideration.”
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