By Kingsley Nwezeh
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, yesterday denied reports that the Police Officers’ Mess in Onikan, Lagos State, was for sale.
A Force Headquarters’ statement said contrary to insinuations, the police high command had embarked on the renovation of the property in a bid to turn it to a revenue earner for the force.
Some “concerned officers” had, in a statement issued weekend, indicated that the successive IGs had planned to sell the property without success.
The group had accused the IG of plotting to sell the mess.
But a statement issued yesterday by Force PRO and Commissioner of Police, Frank Mba, said the police high command embarked on the renovation of the facilities, which he said had developed structural defects over the years.
“The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to a publication in some sections of the media dated January 17, 2021 alleging plots by the Inspector-General of Police to sell-off the Nigeria Police Officers’ Mess located at Onikan, Lagos. The story is totally false!”
The statement disclosed that the Nigeria Police Officers’ Mess, Onikan, conceived decades ago, was built to cater for the welfare of police officers, provide transit accommodation for officers on transfer or on special assignments and provide a conducive social environment suitable for their relaxation.
The IG noted that “over time however, the property has degenerated and shown structural defects requiring a massive renovation or outright rebuilding.
“In a bid to restore its lost glory, provide a modern and befitting officers’ mess and tackle the defects of the old structure, the IG and the management team took a decision to upgrade the existing officers’ mess to a world-class edifice”.
Mba said the new project will in addition to a standard officers’ mess include the development of a world-class three-star hotel, modern office spaces for lease, and a modern and easily accessible shopping complex.
He explained that the new mess would not only cater for the welfare of the officers but would also provide an alternate stream of income for its maintenance and sustenance.
“Upon completion, the project which is wholly owned by the police and financed by the Police Cooperative Society, would improve the aesthetic value of the Onikan waterline, provide one of the best water view facilities on the Lagos Island and serve to improve social interaction between members of the Police Force and the general public.
“It is also expected to generate additional employment opportunities for teeming Nigerian youths, boost the internally generated revenue of Lagos State and generally improve the economy of the State,” Mba said.
The statement said the IG enjoined well-meaning Nigerians and the media to disregard the misinformation while rumour-mongering and the activities of those who aim to disparage and discredit well-thought-out projects.