The passing out parade (POP) of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, will cost the nation N300 million, going by the request of the authorities of the institution to the House of Representatives Committee on Defence.
POP is an annual event for cadets that have completed their training at the academy. The ceremony is usually attended by the president and other dignitaries
At the budget defence organised by the Committee on Wednesday, the Commandant of the academy, Ibrahim Yusuf, asked it to include the money for the ceremony in the 2022 budget.
He said the N300 million was omitted from the N22.7 billion budget propsed for academy.
He asked the committee to include the request alongside N200 million for the Armed Forces Selection Board in the budget.
The NDA also requested another N450 million monthly for its university wing to fund academic branch training curriculum. In addition, the academy requested N250 million for parameter fencing of its campus located Afaka, Kaduna.
The institution was attacked in August by armed bandits, who abducted a senior officer and killed two personnel of the academy.
It also proposed N248 million for the fencing of Ribadu Cantonment.
The academy is also proposing to spend N14 billion on 600 academic staff, 2,500 non-academic staff, 1,500 military personnel, 2,029 officer cadets and 480 contract staff.
In the capital component of the budget, the NDA proposes to spend N600 million on construction of houses for three senior staff of the academy, namely, the director of coordination, registrar and director of training.
Speaking to journalists at the end of the budget defence, the Chairman of the Committee, Babajimi Benson (APC, Lagos), said the committee is committed to maintaining the status of the academy.
He, however, said the request should have come from the federal government, not the academy.
“They have asked us to assist them with more funds and we asked them why the request is not coming directly from the federal government. We believe the additional funding is needed and we will ensure we assist them because the NDA needs to attain the eminence and the quality it truly deserved,” Mr Benson said.
He also made a plea for NDA cadet officers recently dismissed for infractions. He urged the academy to consider giving them their certificates and allow them pursue other endeavours.
“The 19 cadets were dismissed months ago based eon some infractions. They have concluded their academic exercise but have not completed their military exercise. So, we are praying that at least they should be given their certificate so that they can pursue other endeavours.
“Withdrawing the certificate, in its entirety makes them vulnerable, unemployed and unfulfilled. So, we are praying that at least that certificate should be given to them so that they can pursue other endeavours outside the armed forces.”
Some of the cadets were dismissed by the academy in 2020 for hosting a party after their passing out parade which was officiated by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Others were dismissed for other offences.
The House of Representatives had in February adopted the report of the Committee on Public Petition, which recommended that 15 of the cadets be reinstated.
The authorities of the institution have not complied with the resolution of the House.
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