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 in Abuja.
The foundation-laying ceremony was part of activities lined up to commemorate the 2020 Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference holding in Abuja.
Buratai said that 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-Service Housing Scheme Ltd. for the initiative to develop the estate.
Buratai said that the project was geared towards ameliorating the housing challenges faced by officers and soldiers after retirement.
“While we are doing that, we are also taking care of the combatants who are still fighting across our country. We are also considering their retirement into comfortable homes at the end of their service.
“This is the brain behind the establishment of the Post-Service Housing Development Ltd. 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 I am happy the post-service 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 underway to develop mass housing programmes for them.
He said that the plan was to find a place for everyone after service, irrespective of their contributions, adding that the soldiers 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, which had been taking place since the inception of the Buhari-administration, had the full support of the president.
“We will continue to do everything possible to see that his (Buhari’s) desire to promote the welfare of the officers and men reaches 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.