Defense Gist


Written by Xto Udo


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.

NDA Commandants

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–
  • 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 (2004-2006)
  • 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


How can I join Nigeria Defence Academy?
For you to be able to gain admission into the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Regular Combatant Course programme, you must meet the following requirements: You must have completed your Senior School Certificate Examination (WAEC or NECO) or a GCE O’ Level with at least five credits passes in not more than two sittings.

To Apply for NDA Regular Course (RC) Click  Here

Is phone allowed in Nigeria Defence Academy?
Rules and Regulations Guiding the Nigerian Defence Academy…. Rule. 1. Smoking, eating, drinking, sleeping,fighting, noise making, use of mobile phones are not permitted Academy .
What is the cut off mark for Nigeria Defence Academy?
NDA Cut-Off Mark.

According to the management, only candidates who score a minimum of 180 (for Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Military Science & Interdisciplinary Studies and 210 in Faculty of Engineering) in JAMB 2019 examination shall be offered admission into NDA by the AFSB.

What is the highest post in NDA?
Related Stories
Rank NDA Officer Pay (in Rupees) CDS Officer Pay (in Rupees)
Colonel 37,400—67,000/- 1,30,600-2, 15,900
Brigadier 37,400—67,000/- 1,39,600-2,17,600
Major General 37,400—67,000/- 1,44,200-2,18,200
Lieutenant General HAG Scale 67,000/–79,000/- 1, 82, 200-2,24,100
Do I need jamb for NDA?
Applicants applying for admission into NDA are required to also apply to the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB), but may not necessarily select NDA as their choice of university. Such applicants are expected to sit for the JAMB Universal Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME).

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