The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Monday laid the foundation for the construction of Nigerian Army Smart Ville Estate at Life Camp, Abuja.
The foundation laying ceremony was part of activities to commemorate the 2020 Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference holding in Abuja.
The conference had the theme; “Human Capacity Development in Sustaining Professionalism of the Nigerian Army in the Discharge of its Constitutional Roles”.
He said the proposed estate was the first of its kind to be developed by the Nigerian army under its housing development programme.
He commended the management of the Nigerian Army Post Housing Scheme Ltd. for the initiative to develop the smart estate.
Buratai said the project was geared towards ameliorating the housing challenges faced by officers and soldiers after retirement.
According to him, we are just coming from the ground breaking ceremony of the next of kin of the fallen heroes at Giri.
“While we are doing that, we are also taking care of the combatants who are still fighting across our country. We are also considering them retiring to comfortable homes at the end of their service.
“This is the brain behind the establishment of the post housing development limited of the Nigerian army and so far, it has done great deal in ameliorating one of the most post service challenges that officers and soldiers usually have, which is housing.
“The first phase is the one that President Muhammadu Buhari just launched this morning that is the housing scheme for the families of our fallen heroes.
“We are taking it further to ensure that when you retire, you also retire to your home and am happy the post housing company has taken it further; not just having a home but also having a comfortable home,” he said.
The COAS said that the army was also concerned about the veterans as well as ex-service men and women, adding that plans were on to develop mass housing in that regard.
He said the plan was to find a place for everyone after service, irrespective of their contributions, adding that they would be able to benefit even if they were unable to fund the project before they retired.
He said that all these initiatives and actions that have been taking since the inception of this administration has the full support of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We will continue to do everything possible to see that his desire to have welfare of the officers and men reach them wherever they are; whether in service, whether they are fallen heroes or not, they are members of the armed forces.
“We want to assure the president of our unalloyed loyalty and commitment to one Nigeria and of course very importantly, the defence of our territorial integrity,” he said. (NAN)