Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas

Paul Obi in Abuja

Following the shortage of operational base for many Navy personnel, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe-Ete Ibas on Saturday appealed to the federal government for a special presidential intervention for rehabilitation of Navy barracks across the country.

Ibas made the appeal when he commissioned a newly built Navy officers quarters in Kubwa, Abuja, to accommodate 66 officers and their families.

Ibas said: “In spite of this laudable project, there is still a significant gap in the accommodation of both officers and men across the nation. Additionally, transit accommodation is needed for quarter personnel serving outside the locations of their permanent residence.”

The CNS observed that “less than 40 per cent of the required transit accommodation has been achieved. With a projected annual intake of about 2,500 ratings and 200 officers, the accommodation situation would continue to worsen unless deliberate steps were taken in the short and medium terms.

“I therefore appeal for more consideration for the Navy in the intervention projects of the Presidential Committee on Barracks Rehabilitation.”

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Mrs. Nuratu Batagarawa, who spoke at the opening of the newly constructed barracks explained that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the ministry to embark on rehabilitation of more military barracks nationwide.

Batagarawa said: “In line with the present administration’s policies, Mr. President has asked the Ministry of Defence to carry out a comprehensive intervention in the rehabilitation of military barracks and bases nationwide.

“The ministry has commenced work and a technical assessment visit to the Phase 2 Barracks Intervention Project is ongoing.

“In view of the navy’s peculiar inadequate barracks accommodation situation, more consideration will be given to ensure delivery of more living quarters to navy personnel,” Batagarawa added.