Accommodation Challenges: Navy to Partner UN Habitat in provision of 20, 000 houses.
As part of efforts to address the glaring shortage of accommodation for officers and ratings of the Nigerian Navy, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas has commenced a bilateral initiative with a group headed by the United Nations (UN Habitat) with the aim of building 20, 000 houses in the next three (3) years for the Navy.
Speaking when he received the regional director of UN Habitat for Africa, Prof. Oyeyinka Oyebanji at Naval headquaters yesterday, Admiral Ibas recalled that Nigeria has a housing deficit in the region of about 20milion but noted specifically that the Navy was worse hit out of the services with a deficit of 15, 000 housing shortage.
“This huge shortage accounts for over haf of the houses needed for the Navy to cater for its personnel” he said pointing out that “Our efforts at providing housing for our personnel through the Navy holdings have yeilded houses that are not only qualitative but that goes for almost half the market prices”
While noting that the Navy was still a long way in meeting its housing needs, the CNS said, “One of the greatest challenges young officersand rating are having is the question of what happens to them after service to their fatherland. We are involved in the fight against insurgency, peace support operations, protecting the nation’s exclusive economic zones etc. The least the men require is to have a house over their heads”.
“That is why we will partner with the UN Habitat in the venture. We are looking at the investors providing 20, 000 houses for the Navy in the next three years” the CNS said.
Earlier, Professor Oyebanji said UN Habitat in conjunction with some of its partners have provided affordable, qualitative, assessible in record time to similar institutions in Kenya, Somalia and about 10 other countries out of the 34 countries it is affiliated with.
He said one of the companied in the consotium had built about 700million houses in China. Another has more than 30 years experience and has built more than 10million houses around the world. The houses are top class quality houses that will be of immense benefit to the Navy and other owners alike.