The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, on Tuesday, performed the groundbreaking for a state-of-the-art Nigerian Army Conference Centre in Abuja.
The conference centre located at Lungi Barracks in Asokoro is designed to house a 1000-seat auditorium; 1000-seat banquet hall; 500-seat conference hall and 80-room hotel accommodation.
Speaking at the event, Yahaya said the construction of the facilities would address the challenges faced by the Nigerian army in securing accommodation and ample spaces for meetings, conferences, workshops, seminars and lectures in the FCT.
He said that hosting events in a high-quality venue will improve the public image of the Nigerian army and demonstrate its commitment to professionalism and excellence.
The COAS added that renting out the facilities would generate revenue to offset the costs of maintenance and potentially fund other initiatives.
Yahaya said the project was in line with his vision that is centred on professionalism, readiness, administration and cooperation.
According to him, the attainment of this vision depends on decisive psychological influence on personnel’s willingness to fight, which is achievable through adequate concern for their welfare.
“This entails sound administration through purposeful welfare programmes for personnel and members of their families through enhancing their well-being.
“This belief has partly informed my drive in the construction and rehabilitation of numerous facilities across Nigerian Army formations and units which ranges from accommodation, office complexes, Forward Operating Bases, schools and other support facilities.
“These will shore up troops’ morale and well-being thereby enhancing their operational efficiency which remains my top priority,” he said.
Yahaya urged the Nigerian Army Special Projects to ensure that the construction of the facilities was executed in line with global best practice.
He reiterated the commitment of the officers and soldiers to professionalism in performing their constitutional duties.
He also reaffirmed their loyalty to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Constitutionn.
The Coordinator, Nigerians Army Special Projects, Maj.-Gen. Shamsideen Shafaru, said the projects comprised of auditorium, conference centre, banquet hall and hotel.
Shafaru said the 1000 capacity auditorium would have VIP lounge, common room, media rooms, foyer, reception and COAS office among others.
He said the conference centre comprises 500 capacity hall, reception, offices, VIP lounge and media rooms.
“In addition, the banquet hall comprises 1,000 capacity hall, reception, two kitchen, pantry/servery and offices.
“The hotel has 80 rooms (VIP suites, executive suites, double suites and single suites), reception, offices, restaurant/bar, gymnasium, kitchen, mini shopping mall and mini meetings hall and a pool.
‘Other ancillary structures include a modern shopping mall, fire service station, mini clinic, recreational centre, botanical garden, green area, road network and large parking lots,” he said.
Shafaru said the facilities, when fully operational, would be capable of extending its services to the civil populace in addition to its primary functions.
According to him, this conference centre is strategically located near major landmarks in the Abuja metropolis for easy accessibility.
Mr Umar Muhammed, Executive Director, Mouna-Mo Construction Ltd, contractors for the project, said the facilities would be completed in six months.