Fatimat Haliru —
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, yesterday in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, commissioned the groundbreaking of an Army Command Estate phase II Asokoro being developed by the Nigerian Army Properties Limited (NAPL). The Army Chief also promised to sustain high morale of personnel of the Nigerian Army both in service and in retirement.
He said the Nigerian army, through its business establishments, had to carry out mass housing projects across the country for the benefit of serving and retired personnel and the general public.
While expressing confidence that the programme would put a stop to the numerous housing challenges faced by personnel after retirement, Yahaya revealed that reasonable discounts have been made by army authorities to enable the personnel to benefit from the scheme.
He also said the housing programme was part of his vision “to build a Professional Nigerian Army Ready to Accomplish Assigned Mission within a Joint Environment in Defence of Nigeria”
He said the vision was centred on four cardinal pillars of professionalism, readiness, administration and cooperation.
According to him, the attainment of the vision depends on decisive psychological influence on personnel’s willingness to fight, which is achievable through adequate concern for their welfare.
“This entails a sound administration through purposeful welfare programmes for personnel and members of their families, Yahaya stated.
“This belief has partly informed my drive in the construction and rehabilitation of numerous facilities across Nigerian Army formations and units which ranges from accommodation, office complexes, training schools and other support facilities in the barracks.
“A physical example is the brand new barrack which we are presently building as part of the Army Command Estate Asokoro.
“This barrack when completed will accommodate both officers and soldiers and will go along way to ease the acute accommodation problems faced by personnel in Abuja.
“Having provided facilities to shore up troops’ morale and wellbeing through provision of conducive working and living conditions for personnel while in service, I deemed it necessary to embark on this project to be executed by Nigerian Army Properties Limited.
“The aim is to sustain high morale of personnel and their families even after retirement,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NANS) reports that Yahaya commended the management of NAPL for the realisation of housing development in spite of the challenges faced by the organisation in the past.
He urged the NAPL to ensure that the project was executed in line with global best practice.
The COAS reassured personnel of his support towards enhancing their welfare to enable them effectively discharge their constitutional roles.
He also urged the contractor to ensure that the projects were executed according to standard and in line with extant rules in the building industry.
The Group Managing Director, NAPL, retired Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Doma, said 700 houses would be built under the phase two of the project.
Doma said the housing estate would have four-bedrooms detached, three bedroom semi-detached duplexes, and three, two and one bedroom blocks of flats.
He said the houses would be developed in partnership with a construction firm, adding that low density layouts were also being developed for serving and retired senior officers