By Esther Onyegbula
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Zubairu Gambo on Thursday flag-off the construction of 237 housing units in Topo, Badagry, Lagos.
He also laid the foundation stone for the Admiralty Shafa Gas Plan and Admiralty Mall in Navy town, Ojo, Lagos
Addressing the officers and men of Naval Forward Operation Base, Topo, Badagry, shortly after laying the foundation for housing units, he said that the project would address the shortfall in the housing sector in Nigeria.
“I am delighted to be here today on this auspicious occasion of the Ground Breaking Ceremony to flag off the housing development of the Admiralty Shelter Estate, Topo – Badagry.
“The project is under a Joint Venture Partnership arrangement between Navy Holdings Limited and Messrs Jewel Shelter Constructs Ltd.
“Pertinently, the Nigerian Navy is cognizant of the fact that shelter constitutes a very significant part as the second most essential basic need, considering that it is where an individual grows and matures as a dependable part of society.
“Furthermore, the impact of affordable housing on personnel welfare cannot be quantified as it is adjudged a veritable tool for motivation and morale booster for operational efficiency.
“It is in this regard, the Nigerian Navy over the years continued to prioritize home ownership in the hierarchy of its preferences,” he said.
Gambo said he was in about 10 hectares of land in Topo to initiate the development of 237 housing accommodation for Nigerian Navy personnel both serving and retired as well as members of the public.
“The Admiralty Shelter Estate is close to some strategic infrastructure and monumental facilities such as the Atlantic Slave Trade Museum and Monuments amongst others.
“In addition, the waterway, ongoing unprecedented 10-lane carriage Lagos-Badagry Expressway including a light rail as well as a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor would offer unique transportation options for prospective residents.
“This is indeed another significant milestone amongst many initiatives in the comprehensive transformation plan articulated for infrastructural development towards the effective discharge of our constitutional mandate.
“The proposed Estate and Resort by the Navy will further improve aesthetic and enhance tourism and economic activities around the area.
“These are in addition to several other houses commissioned at different locations within the Federal Capital Territory and other states of the Federation to ameliorate accommodation challenges,” he said.
He urged the Navy Holdings Limited on the need to deploy capable and reliable expertise that will assist their development partner towards ensuring that the project is completed in line with the stipulated timelines.
“I must also emphasise that there should be no shortcuts at the expense of safety and quality delivery.
“The Nigerian Navy expects high standards, corporate responsibility, ethical compliance and due diligence in line with global best practices,” he said.
Gambo thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his tremendous support to the Navy towards the actualization of its constitutional mandate.
He appreciated Gov Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos for his immense assistance towards the land acquisition.
Mr Motif Akindere-Fatai, the Lagos State Commissioner for Housing said the housing project had keyed into Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s THEMES agenda of making Lagos a 21 Century Economy.
Akindere-Fatai, who was represented by Mr Zakari Adeyemi, a Director in Administration and Human Resources unit of Ministry of Housing said Sanwo-Olu expressed gratitude to Gambo for approving the project in Badagry.
Mr Olusegun Onilude, the Chairman, Badagry Local Government said the Nigerian Navy had promised to build a naval training school in Badagry.
Onilude, who was represented by Mrs Elizabeth Kappo, the Vice-Chairman of the council said the council can still afford to give them plot of land to build the school when they are ready.
The Akran of Badagry, Aholu Menu Toyi 1, commended the operatives of the Navy for maintaining peaceful coexistence with their host communities.
Akran, who was represented by his son, Prince Yemi Akran commended the Chief of Staff for siting the project in Topo, Badagry.
The foundation for the 237 housing unit of the project was laid off by the Chief of Naval Staff in the presence of traditional rulers, Commanding Officer, 15 Engineering Army, Topo and other security agencies.
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