THE Nigerian Army School of Finance and Administration alongside the 81 base Ordnance Depot would move to the newly inaugurated Nigerian Army Barracks in Epe, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai,said this on Thursday in his address read by Maj.-Gen. J.S. Malu, the Corps Commandant, Nigerian Army Engineer, that represented the former.
The COAS said, “The directives are premised on two vital exigencies: first, there is the need to bring military presence to Epe to beef up security there and around the general well-being of the people.
“Secondly, there is the need to relocate some of the Nigerian Army ( NA ) units that were affected by the construction of the railway lines around Yaba which is being undertaken by the Federal Government in order to improve the national transportation system.
“Two units will be moving here to occupy this place, which are the Nigerian Army School of Finance and Administration, and the 81 base Ordnance Depot,” he said.
The COAS said that he believed that the reconstructed barracks would also increase the reach and effectiveness of the NA, thereby also improving the socio-economic lives of the people of Epe.
“I believe that this reconstructed barracks will not only increase the reach and effectiveness of the NA but will also improve the socio-economic fortunes of Epe and Lagos in general,” he said.
He said that the inauguration was part of the NA’s quest to sustain the peace and security of the nation and his vision for a professional and responsive Nigerian Army.
“This commissioning is,therefore, a testimony of the NA’s quest for peace ,security and prosperity of the nation.
“This is in actualisation of the COAS vision which is to have a professionally responsive NA in the discharge of its constitutional role,” he said.
He added that the reconstruction was necessary as there had been expansion of the NA from five divisional structures to eight divisions.
“With the recent expansion of the Nigerian Army from a five-divisional structure to eight divisions and with several commands coming up ,there is the need to re-occupy the barracks that were, hitherto, closed .
“Subsequently, it was directed that the undeveloped portion of the Epe barracks be re-occupied,” he said.
He said that the NA had lived up to its reputation of unifying the country.
“The NA has lived up to its name as a unifying factor for the Nigerian nation.
” It has continued to serve the nation and its citizens as a bracing wall of protection against evil and a lighthouse of hope amidst the stormy insecurity,” he said.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for always improving the welfare of the Armed Forces, saying that it was an evidence of the magnanimous support to the Armed Forces, particularly, the Nigerian Army.
He said that the inauguration of the Epe barracks coincided with the Nigerian Army’s 157th anniversary.
“Although, the Nigerian Army Day Celebration is taking place this year in Katsina on July 6, this commissioning is one of the many activities programmed to mark the week-long activities.
“I must add that similar projects are being commissioned throughout the country today as part of NAFCEL activities,” he said.
NAN reports that the NA acquired and gazetted the land in 1970, while acquisition of additional acreage of the land was done some years later thereby bringing the total land to 440 (four hundred and forty) hectares.
He thanked the Lagos State Government, the chairman of Epe Local Government and the Oloja of Epe for the cooperation given to the NA during the seven months that the construction lasted.
The Director of Army Works, Brig. -Gen. M.M. B. Mamman, on behalf of the Commandant, Corps of Engineer, in his welcome address said that the project started on Nov. 22, 2019.
He thanked the COAS for his unflinching support in making the project a reality.
Among the projects inaugurated are, the Quarter guard, armoury, magazine, 4x semi detached 2 bedroom,three blocks of student officers quarters.
Others are the 1.8km fence, parade ground, road and drainage system, and the Commandant’s residence.
Top officers present at the inauguration include: the General Officer Commanding, (GOC), 81 Division, the Corps Commandant, Nigerian Army Ordnance Corp, other top military brass and the Oloja of Epe.