THE NIGERIAN DEFENCE ACADEMY (NDA) Kaduna, is one of the first of two Military Universities in Nigeria. Nigerian Army University established in 2018 in Biu, Borno State is the other military university though it does not offer military training. The duration of training at the Nigerian Defence Academy is 5 years for Army cadets (4 years Academic + 1 year Military) and 4 years for Navy and Air force cadets after which they proceed to Nigerian Naval College, Onne, Port-Hacourt and 301 Flying Training School(301FTS), Kaduna respectively for 1-year training at their respective services.

Motto Loyalty and valour
Type: Military Academy
Established: February 1964
Commandant: Major General Sarham Jamil
Students: 3,500
Location: Afaka, Kaduna, Nigeria
Colors: Green, red and Yellow

The NDA was established in February 1964 as a reformation of the British run Royal Military Forces Training College (RMFTC), which had been renamed the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC) on independence. The military institution trains the officer corps of the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air Force. The initial class was only 62 cadets, and trainers were mostly officers in the Indian Army. The NDA grew to an all Nigerian training staff only in 1978. In 1981 itself began bilateral training of foreign militaries. In 1985 the academy commenced offering undergraduate programmes to Military Officers In Training and now also currently offers post graduate studies both for Msc and Ph.D for both military and civilian students alike. The central mission remains the training of young officer cadets in the 5 year(4years Navy and Air force) “Regular Combatant Course” in which cadets are groomed in Military, Academic and Character development to instill discipline and leadership skills according to global best practices, culminating in the award of a bachelor’s degree and presidential commissioning into the rank of second lieutenant for Army cadets or equivalent in the Navy and Air Force for respective cadets. Until 2011 this course used to be exclusively for males, the first set of female cadets commenced training in September 2011. As of 2019, its total cadet class is around 2500.

The current Commandant is Major General Sarham Jamilu.

Below is the chronological list of NDA Commandants:

Brigadier M.R. Varma 1964–1969 (Indian national and 1st Commandant of the NDA).

Major General David Ejoor 1969–1971 (1st Nigerian Commandant).

Major General Adeyinka Adebayo 1971

Major General E.O. Ekpo March 1971 – February 1975.

Brigadier Illiya Bisalla February 1975 – August 1975.

Brigadier Gibson Jalo August 1975 – January 1978.

Brigadier E.S. Armah January 1978 – July 1978.

Brigadier Joseph Garba July 1978 – July 1979.

Brigadier Zamani Lekwot July 1979 – 1982.

Brigadier Abdullahi Shelleng 1982–1984.

Major General Paul Tarfa 1984–1985.

Major General Peter Adomokai 1986 – 1988.

Lieutenant General Salihu Ibrahim 1988–1990.

Lieutenant General Garba Duba 1990–1992

Lieutenant General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau 1992–1993.

Lieutenant General Mohammed Balarabe Haladu 1993 – 1994.

Air Marshal Al-Amin Daggash 1994 – 1998.

Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi 1998–1999.

Major General PG Sha 2000-2002.

Major General Okon Edet Okon (2002-2003).

Major General Akpa (2004).

Lietenant General Abel Akale (2004-2006).

Major General Harris Dzarma (2006–2008).

Major General Mamuda Yerima (2008–2010).

Major General Emeka Onwuamaegbu 2010–2013.

Major General Muhammad Inuwa Idris December 2013 – August 2015.

Major General M.T. Ibrahim August 2015 – October 2017.

Major General A Oyebade October 2017 – November 2019.

Major General Sarham Jamilu November 2019 – till date.

Some Notable Alumni:

Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, former Chief of Army Staff.

Alexander Ogomudia, former Chief of Defence Staff & Chief of Army Staff.

Sani Abacha, former Military ruler of Nigeria.

Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria and former Military Head of State.

Azubuike Ihejirika, former Chief of Army Staff
Dangiwa Umar, former Governor of Kaduna State.

Gideon Orkar, April 1990 coup leader.

Tukur Yusuf Buratai, Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian Army.

Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff, Nigerian Navy.

Kayode Are, former National Security Adviser and Director General State Security Service.

Maxwell Khobe, former ECOMOG Peacekeeping Force Commander and Chief of Defence Staff, Sierra Leone.

Emeka Onwuamaegbu Former Commandant, NDA.

Muhammad Inuwa Idris, Former Commandant, NDA.

Oladipo Diya, former Chief of Defence Staff.

Owoye Andrew Azazi, former Chief of Defence Staff & Chief of Army Staff.

Sultan Sa’adu Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto.

Sambo Dasuki, National Security Adviser.

Tunji Olurin, former military governor of Oyo State.

Victor Malu, former Chief of Army Staff.

John Michael Ogidi, former ECOMOG Officer and Commander Corps of Signals Lagos Headquarters.


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