There has been increasing demand for decent apartments for members of the armed forces across the nation, particularly at this time when insecurity is rife in many states.
At the moment military barracks across the country, especially for junior officers are not only inadequate but also in poor state.
The armed forces policy prohibits their personnel from seeking and living outside the barracks. Hence, they are compelled to live in the barracks regardless of the poor state of the apartments.
In order to help the accommodation problem for members of the armed forces former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, inaugurated the Presidential Committee on Barracks Rehabilitation (PCBR) to oversee the rehabilitation of barracks across the country.
Since then, however, the problem has persisted and therefore more effort needs to be made to solve the problem or bring it to the barest minimum.
The situation is gradually changing as some of the armed forces have begun construction of comfortable apartments for their personnel.
Recently, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) 551 Base in Jos, the Plateau State capital, commissioned quality housing units for its officers.
The NAF also recently launched some Non-Commissioned Officers’ (NCO) quarters at its base in Bauchi.
The housing units in Jos consist of 10 blocks of 1-bedroom flats of single officers’ quarters. It commenced in January, 2017.
The length of each of the building is 71 by eight metres and the buildings occupy about 500,060 meters of land. The rooms are trendily furnished with chairs, tables, curtains, dining tables, kitchen wares and other necessities of a home.
It was gathered that no amount would be deducted from the salaries of the officers who would benefit from the new apartments.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadiq Baba Abubakar, said the housing units were in line with NAF’s effort to boost combat readiness and morale of its personnel.
Represented by the Chief of Administration, Air Vice Marshal Kingsley Lar, Abubakar said one of the constitutional obligations of the air force was the protection of lives and property of Nigerians in collaboration with other Nigerian security agencies.
“This housing project is geared towards enhancing the welfare of our personnel to enable them focus on their tasks and continue in adding value to the service,” he said.
In his welcome address, the Commander of the 551 Nigerian Air Force Station, Jos, Air Commodore Kabiru Aliyu, explained that the newly completed projects would reduce the burden of accommodation concern in the base, adding that the dedication, wisdom and support of the chief of air staff was worthy of commendation in achieving the feat.
In Bauchi, the two blocks of 10 single furnished accommodations were commissioned by the chief of air staff who reiterated that the provision of accommodation was part of his commitment to the welfare of NAF personnel.
The CAS who was also represented by the Head of Administration, NAF Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Kinsley Lar, said NAF would continue to give priority to personnel welfare.
“As you are all aware, our nation has in recent years been grappling with numerous security challenges. This has led to the deployment of NAF assets and personnel to various parts of the country to help contain the situation, he said.
It would be recalled that a block of six single rooms accommodation was commissioned on October 18, 2018 in Bauchi. Daily Trust