CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY The Nigerian Armed Forces were established to protect Nigeria against external aggressors and observers note that the forces have performed their duties creditability ever since their establishment. Analysts, however, underscore the need for the government to provide a good working environment especially in the area of decent accommodation for the military so as to facilitate its efforts to give quality service delivery (Adeniyi, 2004).
It has been observed all over the country that most of the barracks of the armed forces are currently in a derelict state, while several soldiers are not quartered in barracks. This is not to suggest that the Federal Government of Nigeria has not been mindful of the accommodation needs of the armed forces, as it has initiated some interventionist measures to ensure the soldiers’ wellbeing. For instance, former President Olusegun Obasanjo inaugurated the Presidential Committee on Barracks Rehabilitation (PCBR) in 2001 to oversee efforts to rehabilitate military barracks across the country (Vanguard, 2011).
Housing has been recognized to be in the same category with air, food and clothing as a basic necessity of life (Okpala, 1985). It’s basic function is to protect man against the weather and to guarantee him some security against marauders. Housing is one of the major problems facing the Nigerian military. Housing problem has been a general problem in all government parastatals in Nigeria because of the high level of corruption and embezzlement of allocated funds coupled with poor implementation of the housing policies for the military personnel (Adeniyi, 2004). Various governments at Federal and State level have in the past made efforts of improving the housing situation in the military Barracks. The low-income group to which most soldiers belong is the most hard-hit by the shortage of housing. The shortage of housing persists despite the various government efforts because the supply is far short of housing needs (Ogunshakin and Olayiwola, 1992). Housing programmes targeted at the low-income group of soldiers invariably end up with the rich senior officers because of the autocratic nature of the profession.
Military barracks across the country are in dire need of rehabilitation and in many cases lack enough accommodation for soldiers in spite of the yearly budgets of billions for barracks repairs, (Daily Trust, 18th March 2015). Daily trust (2015) also revealed that military barracks in Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi and other places are characterized with many buildings that are in a state of disrepair, with broken doors, windows and leaking roofs.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM The problem of insufficient housing and accommodation to military personnel is primarily that of a crisis situation, manifesting and expressing itself in quantitative and qualitative forms. Lack of comfort and rudimentary infrastructure, congestion, unhygienic conditions, high densities and absence of organization make for ghastly experiences shared by the vast majority of the military personnel. The spatial product of this problem is not only in the rapid emergence and deployment an environmental problem in the Nigeria military barracks. However, the researcher is evaluating the problem of insufficient accommodation to military personnel with a special focus on the Nigerian Army.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The following are the objectives of this study:
To examine the problem of insufficient accommodation to military personnel in Nigeria.
To examine the level of government commitment at providing decent accommodation for the Nigerian Army personnel.
To determine the factors hindering the provision of decent accommodation for the Nigerian Army personnel.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Is there a problem of insufficient accommodation to military personnel in Nigeria?
What is the level of government commitment at providing decent accommodation for the Nigerian Army personnel?
What are the factors hindering the provision of decent accommodation for the Nigerian Army personnel?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY The following are the significance of this study:
The outcome of this study will sensitize the Nigeria government, the Nigerian Army authority and the general public on the problem of insufficient housing and accommodation to the Nigerian Army personnel with a view of identifying how the problem can be solved.
This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY This study on the evaluation of the problem of insufficient accommodation to military personnel in Nigeria will cover the state of accommodation facilities in the Nigerian Army barracks all over the country.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF STUDY Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview). Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
REFERENCES Abiodun, J.A. Housing Problems in Nigeria Cities Onibokun p ed Housing in Nigeria: A book of Reading NISER, Ibadan Pp 49-63, 2005. Adeniyi E.O, The Provision of Housing A challenge to Military performance in Africa, Ibadan NISER reprint series 96, Pg 701 – 710, 2004 Daily Trust, 18th March 2015 Ogunshakin and Olayiwola L. The Collapse of Official Housing Policy in Nigeria Habitat International Vol.16, No1 1992. Okpala D.C.I. Housing Tenure in Nigeria Housing Policy, of need for Rethinking of current emphasis, Publication of Nigerian Association of Housing Corporation Vol. 2 No.1 1985
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