The Nigerian Army is putting final touches in place to complete a new military university in Biu, Borno State. Nigerian Army University of Technology and Environment Studies (NAUTES) will be a specialised solution centre for the military and the country – with special attention to providing solutions to the disturbance in Nigeria’s north east – and the first of its kind established by the Nigerian military.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai explains that, “The university was conceived as a unique university that would be different from conventional universities in Nigeria. The concept is to make a solution provider and a centre of excellence for variety of technologically related ventures, such as generation and armament production.”
This, in addition to the concentration on improving the military intellectually and technologically, and annihilating the group terrorising North East Nigeria from its roots, make NAUTES’ ongoing development is a noteworthy effort on the part of the Nigerian military.
NAUTES was relocated from Benue state in 2016, where it was under the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering (NASME), and called the Nigerian Army University of Science, Technology, and Innovation. However, the need for the military to widen its strategic, tactical, and academic extent conceived the idea for NAUTES, particularly in the face of persistent insurgency and consequent collateral damage.
The decision to establish the university in Borno state is a conscious and symbolic one, with plans to fund it being covered under the 2017 Appropriation Bill. In April, during the First Quarter Conference in Maiduguri, Nigerians were reminded of the government’s promise to address the worrisome issue of Boko Haram’s insurgency which the country continues to suffer from.
Since their dreadful emergence, Boko Haram has not only cost Nigeria many lives, property, and severely threatened its national security. And Borno state has been at the centre of all of their activities. The Nigerian Army has recorded tragic losses and small victories accompanying numerous operations in its bid to stamp them out entirely from the country.
Two days ago, the military successfully eliminated an ambush in Kala Balge Local Government Area of Borno state. A number of suspected Boko Haram insurgents fleeing towards Kaduna were arrested by the Department of State Security. But sustainable solutions seem to elude the military which accounts for the prolonged presence of the terror group in the region.
The need for more intelligent approaches to the Boko Haram insurgency by the Federal Government has been repeatedly emphasised. With the proposed opening of the army university in September, it would appear that the government is listening, and the country is on its way to witness it take on a better suited armour of battle – a sociologically-inspired one.
Students at the army university will be provided with knowledge in how to detect early signs of aggression, determine what factors account for their evolution, effectively combat terrorism in cases where it already exists, amongst other much needed social benefits.
Lt. Gen. Buratai states that NAUTES promises a highly improved environment complete with adequate infrastructure to propel research and solutions for the security and intellectual needs of both the military and the country.
NAUTES’ presence in Borno state not only signifies the military’s reinvigorated resolve to eliminate Boko Haram, but will also account for modernisation as well as economic opportunities. NAUTES is however not exclusive to individuals with military inclinations, as its facilities will be open to members of the general public.