Human and material resources to develop intellectual competencies towards tackling Nigerian security challenges are available in this country if the resources are synthesized and necessary collaborations are formed.
Making this assertion was the University of Ibadan Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka at the official signing of UI- National Defence College (NDC) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the transition of a professional Master degree programme to an enviable academic Master and Doctoral level.
The UI boss who boasted of the intellectual endowments of the university remarked that the institution deliberately cut down the number of enrollment for the undergraduate students in order to concentrate on the post graduate studies, adding that the “strategic level thinkers that this country needs could be trained in Ibadan with the abundance of intellectual resources available in the university”.
According to the VC, “UI is the only university in Africa with the highest number of annual Ph. D graduates, not even the Cape Town university which is said to be leading in Africa can rival our record. Therefore, we have the intellectual wherewithal to train our security chiefs up to a Ph. D level”
While thanking the NDC for believing and collaborating with UI to train the military and paramilitary personnel , Prof. Olayinka noted that with time, most of the participants would still come back to the university as resource persons to train others, thus, enriching the programme with practical flavour and knowledge.
He described the collaboration as a good example of Public Private Partnership, saying, with the two federal agencies working together, Nigeria can certainly overcome her security challenges with qualified, well-trained strategic security thinkers.
Earlier in his own remarks, the NDC Commandant, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo disclosed that the NDC was the premier College saddled with the responsibility of training high level strategic security thinkers for Nigeria and other West African countries,pointing out that the competencies in tackling emerging security challenges required acquisition of more knowledge , hence the celebration of long-time relationships with the university of Ibadan.
“This collaboration will also provide opportunities and platforms for Generals and retired Generals to study up to a Ph.D level, thereby increasing knowledge that the nation requires”, he said,
In his welcome address, the Director of Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, Prof. Isaac Olawale Albert who gave background overview of the partnership, told the audience that the MoU has simply transformed the relationship between UI and NDC into a partnership, stating that “in addition to making it possible for nominees of the NDC to do their professional and academic Master degree programmes, IPPS and NDC will exchange staff and undertake joint research projects”
Prof. Albert who narrated the difficulty encountered before the programme could be brought to UI disclosed that the UI Senate gave approval to commence academic Master and Doctoral degree programmes in Strategic Studies on May 28 2018.