The drive of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) towards ensuring that its personnel have befitting residential accommodation has received a fresh boost with the commissioning of 2 newly constructed blocks of 6 x 3 bedroom flats for married officers at the Sam Ethnan Air Force Base Ikeja, Lagos today, 28 May 2020.
Speaking during the commissioning, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Air Officer Commanding Logistics Command (AOC LC), Air Vice Marshal Lawal Alao, noted that the commissioning of the project was a testimony to his resolve to improve the welfare of NAF personnel, being a major requirement in the development of human capacity for enhanced operational performance.
He noted that, while the NAF was being restructured for more effective and efficient service delivery in the last 4 and half years, several infrastructural developments aimed at improving both the working and living conditions of personnel were also embarked upon. The infrastructural developments, the CAS added, included the construction of new offices and living accommodations across all NAF Bases in the Country, to provide conducive atmosphere for optimum operational output.
Speaking further, the CAS noted that the infrastructural development was a major moraleboosting factor for some of the modest operational achievements recorded so far. “In the last four and half years, while working to address the housing deficit for personnel, we have provided befitting accommodation for about 7,500 families. We remain resolute to do more”, he said.
The CAS commended the Logistics Command (LC) for providing the necessary support that had enabled the Service to be more efficient in the conduct of its operations across various theatres. He pledged that the Headquarters would continue to provide the necessary resources to enablethe Command to continue playing its vital role in supporting NAF operations. The CAS equally lauded the measures emplaced by the Command to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and describbed the communal approach to tackling the virus with the introduction of COVID-19 Enlightenment and Enforcement Team made up of youth volunteers within the Base, as most impressive.
He highlighted that Headquarters NAF, in compliance with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines, had directed the scaling down of the number of personnel for official work to the barest minimum to limit the likelihood of contact. He also reminded personnel to continue to maintain personal hygiene, whilst observing physical distancing.
The newly constructed blocks of buildings which are built with a touch of class – with all bedrooms en suite, was executed by TILT Construction Limited, a wholly-Nigerian owned Civil and Structural Engineering Construction company serving as a trusted infrastructure partner to organisations in the private and public sector. Managing Director of TILT Construction Mr Jameel Olatunji stated that jobs were provided to no fewer than 50 skilled artisans and over 4000 man-hours of work were completed with no cases of accidents recorded. “This performance was not the result of chance; it was made possible through our continuous commitment to safety and efficiency” he said.
Among project completed by the company include Construction of Residential Development for the Federal Capital Development Authority, Federal Ministry of Works & Housing, Nigeria Immigration Service, amongst others.
In his closing remarks, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, ably represented by Air Vice Marshal Lawal Alao thanked the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the resources being expended to improve personnel welfare, and enjoined personnel to take responsibility for the proper maintenance of all infrastructures on all NAF Bases, whilst remaining committed to the effective execution of assigned tasks.