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Cross River teams up with Army on new cities as Navy tackles housing shortage

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Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade

Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade

Pressed to provide accommodation to its citizens, the Cross River government has entered into partnership with the Nigerian Army in the development of new cities across the state.

The State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade who disclosed this in Calabar while receiving a delegation from the Nigerian Army Post-Service Housing Development Limited led by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Brigadier General KS Gora in his office said the desire to partner the Army was informed by its track record, institutional guarantees, expertise and financial wherewithal.

Ayade, represented by his deputy, Prof Ivara Esu stressed the need for the Army to ensure that the proposed post-service houses it intends to build are not shanties.

According to the Governor, “the concept of new cities development in Cross River State is not the invention of shanties but the building of cities that will give you a unique feeling.

He emphasized the need for the Army to ensure the cities and the houses are in sync with the master plan of the state government and urged them to visit the Bureau of Public Private Partnership and the Investment Promotion Council to clarify issues and make their planning easier for them.

Earlier in his remarks, Brig Gen Kora said the Post-Service Housing
Development Limited was established in 1996 with the mandate to provide affordable housing for both serving and retired officers.

Kora said abandoned barracks were first utilized but that changed over the years when “We discovered it was not nice to serve in the barracks and upon retirement, continue living in the barracks”, adding that the scheme was later enlarged to include the police, civil servants and the general public with a total of 21 estates of three categories in 14 states currently being overseen by them.

He commended the state’s investor friendly climate and noted that they will not have problems with off takers due to the peaceful nature of the state. Also, he hoped the state gives the necessary approvals as they have “Integrity, Skill and Quality.”

Commenting, the Chairman of the New Cities Development Board and Commissioner for New Cities Development, Prince K J Jedy-Agba said the choice of the Army was strategic and “the development of new cities is one of the primary objectives of this administration and after much consideration, we decided to start from home with the Nigerian Army to say we are ready”.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy says, it is set to address the accommodation challenges faced by personnel in its training schools across the country, the Flag Officer Commanding Naval Training Command, Rear Adm. Joseph Okojie, has said.

Okojie said, the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice- Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, after visiting the Nigerian Naval College in Onne and Nigerian Navy Basic Training School last week promised to upgrade the available trainees accommodation and also to build more in order to comfortably accommodate Batch 25 trainees whose recruitment into the NN will begin on May 14, 2016.

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