From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian army said it has concluded plans to build more Command Guest Houses across the country.
The gesture according to the Chief Of Army Staff(COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, is aimed at providing secured, affordable and reliable accommodation for army personnel, members of the armed forces and the public.
Gen. Yahaya, made this known at the maiden Annual Command Guest House Stakeholders Conference 2022, organised by the Department of Special Services and Programs, held in Abuja.
The conference has as its theme “Repositioning the Nigerian Army Hospitality Endeavours for Enhanced Service Delivery”.
Represented by the Group Managing Director, Nigerian Army Welfare Limited by Guaranty, Major General Adekola Bakare, at the occasion, the COAS, said command guest houses has continued to offer subsidised guest accommodation, recreation and entertainment support to users and had undoubtedly achieved their set goals and objectives.
Gen Yahaya, while noting that the need to properly coordinate and manage all army welfare investments was critical to their sustainability and maintenance, said the conference was convened to have an increased participation and more robust engagements with stakeholders of the guest houses.
He said the Nigerian army under his leadership was ready to stand in harm’s way to accord Nigerians the safety, security and comfort that they deserve.
He said”Presently, command guest houses are located in Lagos, Abuja, Bauchi, Yola, Gusau, Maiduguri and Kaduna.
“Command Guest House Sokoto will soon come on board as work in the new facility is almost completed.
“Plans are also on to expand and establish Command Guest Houses in major cities and geopolitical zones across the country.
“Since my assumption of command, our efforts have been geared towards improving infrastructure and facilities in the various Command Guest Houses.
“For example, the renovation of Command Guest House Maiduguri was completed and handed over to operators in May 2022, while there are also plans to carry out phased renovation of Command Guest Houses in Apapa, Yola, Gusau and Kaduna.
“These gestures are aimed at improving and repositioning the service delivery requirement of these very important Nigerian army welfare facilities,” he said.
The army Chief who reiterated his determination to build all Nigerian army components of fighting power including welfare and administration of personnel, said he would continue to provide leadership and guidance for the troops in the fight against perpetrators of insecurity in the country.
He expressed the hope that with the acquisition of more equipment and platforms, the Nigerian army would be well positioned to win the war against insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes ravaging the country.
Earlier in his address, the Chief of Special Services and Programmes, Major General Solomon Udounwa, who said the Nigerian army had redoubled its efforts to enhance the well-being of its personnel and their families through welfare investment, noted that the department was established in January with the mandate to ensure the efficient management of the guest houses amongst other roles and responsibilities.
Udounwa said the meeting is to enable Stakeholders and the managements presented briefs in respect of their facilities, with a view to taking appropriate decisions to sustain their operations.
“To address this gap, the department sought to increase the participation of stakeholders by proposing a more elaborate annual conference.
“It was envisaged that the conference would provide a more appropriate avenue for interaction among the managements of Command Guest Houses, stakeholders, operators and professionals in the hospitality business.
“We are excited to have representatives from all command guest houses as well as hospitality industry operators, regulators and professionals to interact and offer experience that would galvanise our zeal and interest.