NATIONAL DEFENCE COLLEGE
History and Background
The National Defence College is the apex military training institution for the Nigerian Armed Forces, and a Centre of Excellence for peace support operations training at the strategic level in West Africa. The National Defence College (NDC) was established in 1992 as the highest military institution for the training of senior military officers in Nigeria.
Since the Nigerian Armed Forces had long established a strong tri-service military training heritage with the establishment of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, for cadet training, and the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji, for middle level staff training, it was appropriate and cost effective to continue the tradition by establishing the new strategic level military institution, the National Defence College, on a tri-service basis.
The NDC started operating from a temporary site at the former Ministry of Foreign Affairs building at the Marina, Lagos. In August, 1995, the College was moved from Lagos to Abuja (the new Federal Capital), to yet another temporary site located at Herbert Macaulay Way (North), adjacent to the prestigious International Conference Centre.The permanent site is at the Jabi District of the Federal Capital Territory.
The then Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Sani Abacha, inaugurated the NWC Course 4 on 14 September, 1995, to herald the movement of the College to its new temporary site.
Plans are underway to relocate the College finally to its permanent site in Jabi District of Abuja.
The Mission of the National Defence College is:
To impart knowledge and develop expertise and skills of selected senior military and civilian officers through a firm understanding of the essential factors that impact on national security and prepare them for higher responsibilities at operational and strategic levels in national and international assignments.
The Objectives of the College are to:
i. Prepare senior military and civilian officers for operational and strategic level responsibilities at national and international environments.
ii. Underpin leadership and command functions with a firm understanding of geographical considerations affecting Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.
iii. Develop an in-depth understanding of elements of national power which will aid in the formulation of grand national strategy.
iv. Provide knowledge of the political and strategic framework for policy making and operations in joint and multinational environments.
v. Relate within a democratic framework, the higher management of defence to the broader national interests.
vi. Undertake advanced academic research at national strategic policy level.
vii. Proffer policy recommendations on specific national and international issues that border on national security.
The National Defence College provides the highest level of formal military education intended to inculcate a sense of advanced military professionalism and involvement in the decision-making process under democratic political culture and structures.
In the pursuit of its professional training programmes, the College has developed sound and consistent military expertise in the study of policy options as to where, when and how the application of force could be applied for security and peaceful purposes.
To achieve this educational objective, Participants are encouraged to be imaginative and creative and to cultivate the confidence of expressing their views openly. In order to encourage this, the College applies a fine exchange of ideas through a “Rotunda Rules” policy of non-attribution in the Auditorium, where Participants, Staff and members of the Directing Staff (DS) will be able to express personal views frankly but privately to a privileged audience.
The curriculum of the College is designed to be provocative, demanding and rigorous. Participants will be faced with a variety of problems for which there is no College ‘template solution’. They will be encouraged to consider and challenge their own intellectual assumptions and standpoints about the nature of war, peace, leadership, politics, ethics and the application of force.
The College, therefore, works intensively at the conceptional level, researching and analysing issues in depth, to produce well informed, critical judgements, and to cultivate the art of intelligent questioning and conceptual thinking. Overall, the intention is that the National Defence College and its Fellows should play a part in the evolution of military thoughts to meet the new circumstances of the 21st century.
The mission and philosophy of the College is pursued through lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences and syndicate assignments. The participants also write term papers and all – year round research projects on approved topics. There are also geo-strategic tours of the nation, African continent and other parts of the world. The activities of the College are conducted in the English Language.