By Emma Una
Chief of the Army Staff, Lt General T Y Buratai, says, as a young army officer, he lived in a makeshift apartment, popularly known as ‘batcher’, between 1989 and 1990 owing to acute shortage of accommodation facing the Nigerian Army.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai
Buratai, who stated this in Calabar while commissioning seven blocks of flats containing 56 flats built by the 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in the Cross River State capital, stated that soldiers are forced to live in makeshift structures built with wood, roofing sheets and plastic boards in most barracks across the country owing to shortage of permanent structures but conscious efforts are being made to to turn the batchers to decent houses for the soldiers and their families to live.
He said each block which contains twelve flats of two bedrooms was erected at the cost of 150 million naira through direct labour which is half the sum if the construction had been contracted out to a contractor. The Army Chief stated that outside providing decent accommodation for soldiers, the Nigerian Army is being structured to meet international standard in equipment and other hardware acquisition to boost its combat readiness.