By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi on Thursday, reiterated the federal government’s commitment to equipping and motivating the personnel of armed forces of Nigeria adequately to achieve their statutory mandate.
Magashi gave the assurance at the inauguration of the National Defence College (NDC) 1st Directing Staff Quarters at the college’s permanent site in Piwoyi, Abuja.
He said the inauguration of the first two 9-storey buildings of 56 flats and 56 units of boys’ quarters for NDC was in fulfilment of the government’s commitment.
According to Magashi, for any organisation to succeed, it requires the services of a vibrant and well-motivated workforce.
He said that effectiveness could only be achieved when the expectations of staff were met through provision of welfare facilities such as a befitting accommodation.
“It is therefore my firm belief that the accommodation will further motivate the staff to perform their duties expeditiously.
“As Minister of Defence, I shall continue to encourage and galvanise efforts towards ensuring that the armed forces is sufficiently equipped, well trained and adequately motivated to achieve their statutory mandate.
“The ministry of defence, under my leadership will continue to support the National Defence College at all times in sustaining its achievements as a centre of excellence and attain further enviable heights among other defence colleges globally.
“I also assured my full support in fast-tracking the completion of other ongoing projects in the college to ensure its relocation to the permanent site here in Piwoyi within the shortest possible time.
“The block of 56 flats and 56 Boys’ Quarters, being commissioned here today is a testimony of the president’s resolve to ensure the Nigerian military is given the necessary support in terms of training, capacity development and improved welfare towards achieving its constitutional mandates,” he said.
The minister said that timely completion of this building project that started in 2018 was a another demonstration of the government’s resolve to improve the welfare of the armed forces.
He said that the new edifice would substantially reduce accommodation challenges currently facing the college and also improve the living conditions of the staff.
He commended the commandant and management of NDC for the timely completion of the project and urged the occupants to make good use of the facilities by observing an effective maintenance culture.
The Commandant, National Defence College (NDC), Rear Adm. Oladele Daji, said the new edifice would help to ameliorate the challenge of accommodation being faced by the college over the years.
Daji said that concerted efforts had being made towards the relocation of the college from its current temporary sites in the Central Business District to the permanent site since 2007.
He said that the contract for infrastructural development and building construction was awarded in 2007, adding that the projects suffered some delays due to budgetary constraints and inflation.
“The relocation of the college to the permanent site will ensure that both the faculty and administrative staff operate from a common place, thereby ensuring that college activities are well harmonised.
“Currently, most of the college staff reside in different locations such as Gwarimpa, Apo, Maitama and Ushafa.
“Recently, there has been pressure from the FCT Administration for the college to relocate its staff residing at Apo following the sales of the Apo quarters.
“With the completion of the directing staff quarter 1, a sizable number of staff will be relocated from Apo while the remaining will be relocated on completion of the directing staff quarters 2 sometime in 2023,” he said.
The commandant said that the college had completed four blocks of building housing its participants and some members of staff while the work on the administrative building was ongoing.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the minister of defence for giving the college the needed support to make it a centre of excellence. (NAN)