138 soldiers from the 13 Brigade Nigeria Army Calabar and their families have so far benefited from the Chief of Army Staff Accommodation Intervention Project.
Buratai stated this in Calabar while inaugurating the second and third phases of the project, which comprises of 49 single and 52 one -bedroom flats respectively.
Buratai said that the project was aimed at phasing out shanties from Army barracks across the country.
The COAS had earlier on Feb. 26, inaugurated the first phase of the building, which comprised of 37 flats, at the Akim Barracks in Calabar.
The Army Chief also inaugurated and distributed additional apartments to soldiers and their families towards a professionally responsive military.
Buratai, who was represented at the occasion by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Army Headquarters, Major General Christopher Jemitola, said his intervention was to boost the morale of soldiers for effective service to the nation.
According to him, “It is imperative that officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army are given befitting accommodation for themselves and their families in line with the Chief of Army Staff vision, which is to have a professionally responsive Nigerian army in the discharge of its constitutional roles”.
“We have tried to accord the welfare of troupes top priority, the Nigerian medical summit, the review of fees in our schools and the recent pitting exercise are all intended to reposition the Nigerian Army for optimum performance”, stated the Army Chief.
While congratulating the 13 Brigade Commander for effectively and prudently utilizing the funds provided, he advised the occupants of the accommodation “to take proper care of this homes, given the scarce resources. You should show appreciation for the accommodation received considering that it has taken decades for the batchers to be replaced”.
“it has taken six months to complete these structures and we do not want to return to the old days. I hereby urge beneficiaries to take good care of the buildings so that those coming after you would also have decent accommodation to live in”, Buratai appealed.
He also commended Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari for the support to officers and men of the army and for his dedication to improved welfare of the entire military.
In a brief remark, the General Officer Commanding the 82 Division Nigerian Army, Enugu, Major General Adamu Abubakar was appreciative of the various interventions of the Chief of Army Staff within the division.
Abubakar, who eulogized the Chief of Army Staff, listed the various projects across the division, noting “in the last six months, we have seen remarkable improvements in the infrastructural development of 82 Div”.
He continued “it is not restricted to only Calabar. At Ogoja’s 130 Battalion, the COAS intervention was to renovate 12 blocks of 30 rooms, which has remarkably improved the standard of living for the soldiers in Ogoja. Also in Enugu, a mini water works, which is one of its kind in this parts, is currently under construction”.
“When completed, the water works will provide Abakpa Barracks and adjoining ones with potable water, which has been the need of the barracks for the past 30 years. The water project would be officially inaugurated next month. For these completed projects and others still under construction, we are grateful”, he said.
Earlier, the 13 Brigade Commander, Brigadier General AbdulMalik Bulama Biu said that the barrack, which predated the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates of Nigeria in 1914, had accommodated notable Nigerian officers and soldiers.
According to Biu, “this barracks was established in 1912 and has a special place in Nigeria’s history. The first Governor General of Nigeria, Sir Lord Lugard lived in this Barrack. He lived where the current Brigade Garrison is before relocating to Lagos”.
The 49th Commander of the 13 Brigade further said “the entire intervention totals 90 flats for corporals and below and 48 single rooms for bachelors. In other words, 138 soldiers and their families have been properly accommodated”.
Highlights of the occasion were cultural display by wives of the soldiers and brief combat demonstration.