At the instance of the Kaduna Chapter, NIMechE paid a historic advocacy visit to the Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) on Wednesday, 9th May 2018. The Institution was greeted to the warm reception of the NDA Commandant, Maj. Gen. A. Oyebade, and his motley number of Deputy Commandants, top management and faculty officers of the Academy. On the NIMechE delegation, is the National Chairman, Engr. Dr. Robinson I.Ejilah, the Kaduna Chapter Chairman, Engr. Dr. S.O. Yakubu, some senior mechanical engineers – such as, our venerable Engr. B.K. Muhammad, Engr. Ezekiel Ayuba and other members of NIMechE, Kaduna Chapter.
After the introduction of the delegation, and opening formalities typical to such meetings by the Kaduna Chapter Chairman, the National Chairman, Dr. Ejilah, congratulated the new Commandant of the Academy for his well- deserved appointment and assumption of official duties in October, 2017. He also conveyed NIMechE’s gratitude to the NDA’s Management team for providing employment opportunities for Nigerian Mechanical Engineers, and also providing an enabling environment for their professional development and practice. He noted that the military plays a key and very influential role in driving the pace of technological innovation in the leading and technologically advanced nations of the world, through deliberate research and development endeavours for military and civilian applications.
He also informed the Commandant that, NIMechE has instituted a Research and Innovation platform for its fast growing numbers of PhDs as members – some of which are Professors of Mechanical Engineering- to drive the research and innovation activities of the Institution. Hence, the Institution in its uncommon goodwill is ever willing to deploy the huge intellectual capacities of members for the purpose of building enduring collaboration and/or partnership with the Academy and other willing partners, in areas of teaching, research and usable product development. The National Chairman thanked the Commandant for the scheduled visit, and wished him a successful term of service in office.
The NDA Commandant, Maj. Gen. A. Oyebade, in his response expressed his appreciation for the important visit. He further corroborates the importance of engineering training by saying ‘God Almighty is a Master Engineer’ amidst the hearty cheers of the delegation. He asserted that ‘there is no invention, nor engineering creation that does not take its cue from nature, be them; drones, ships, robots, and many other mechanical contrivances and engineering marvels’. He also added that, Engineers, in their inventiveness are simply following the footprints of nature!
The Commandant re-echoed the fact that, military usable technology plays a very important role in global development, and that makes engineering key to military operations. Therefore, a discipline, such as, mechanical engineering should in all intent and purpose, be taken very seriously. He further explained that it is for such compelling reason, that the NDA is committed to supporting its engineering faculty at any given opportunity.
Maj. Gen. Oyebade also informed the delegation that, Mechanical Engineering Department of the Academy has made very strong showing as a top achiever in several national science and engineering project competitions and expositions in the recent past. He is of the view that the engineering training activities provided for the officer cadets, are essential for progressive continuous development of a career of exemplary service to the nation, and could also serve as a transforming tool for successful military operations in the field. He expressed his delight for the offer of partnership with NIMechE in areas of usable product research and development, and would like to discuss further in that direction in subsequent communications.
After the board room interaction with the top brass of the Academy, the NIMechE delegation was conducted round, on a tour of laboratory facilities by the HOD. Mechanical Engineering Department, Capt. Engr. Dr. Danladi King Garba (rtd). The tour also enabled the National Chairman to interact with 4th year Mechanical Engineering Cadets of the 66th Regular Course of the Academy, in which he extolled the virtues of discipline and hard work, and urge them to strive for excellence in all fronts, and also endeavour to be true patriots, vanguards and bastions of the nation, and future technology leaders. He reassured the cadets that the future no doubt, hold strong promise for them as leaders of national security, defense and technology. He also shared his experiences from the just concluded NIC.20 Boot camp in Lagos, and noted that it would be interesting to have the Academy listed amongst tertiary institutions with NIMechE Student Chapters, if their work schedule permits.
The NDA at Kaduna is the only military university in Nigeria, and perhaps the best military academy in the African continent. It was established in 1964, with the objective of training officer cadets for commissioning into the armed services of the Country. At present, the Academy runs undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes in various disciplines including Mechanical Engineering.