By George Odok
Calabar – The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) , Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said 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 on Saturday in Calabar while inaugurating the second and third phases of the project, which comprises of 49 single and 52 one -bedroom flats respectively.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the COAS was represented at the occasion by Maj.-Gen. Christopher Jemitola, Chief of Policy and Plans, Army Headquarters, Abuja.
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.
“After commissioning the first phase of the project earlier in February this year; I must say that I am delighted to be here again to commission the second and third phases of the project.
“With what I am seeing on ground in this barracks, the Commander of 13 Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Bulama Biu, has done very well.
“Biu was prudent with the resources at his disposal and was thorough in the supervision of the projects, after watching the different documentaries that this project underwent.
“It is imperative that officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army are given befitting accommodation in line with the vision of my leadership,” he said.
In his address, Biu who supervised the project said that the shanties in the barracks had existed for many years, adding that the barrack was established in 1912.
He said that shanties had to be demolished to give way to new modern structures, with a view to giving the barracks a face-lift.
“Soldiers of this barracks have lived in the shanties for decades, but as we can all see, we have declared an obituary for the shanties.
“Regimes over regimes, committees over committees, for several years, could not address the problem, but the COAS who has the interest of the troops at heart, had done a great job.
“The history of shanties in this barracks is buried for life. I am happy to announce today that the COAS has provided accommodation for 138 soldiers and their families in this barracks’’, he said.
A cross section of the beneficiaries who spoke with NAN after receiving the keys to their apartments, thanked the COAS and the Brigade Commander for providing them with decent accommodation.