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Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Thursday, jointly performed the ground breaking ceremony for the Nigerian army 130 hectares Post Service Housing Scheme, tagged ‘Ayade Mega City’, in Calabar.

In his remark, General Buratai said the project will not only help to address the housing need of both retired army personnel and the civil populace, but also mitigate the housing deficit in Nigeria.

He explained that the decision to site the project in Cross River State was informed by its serene atmosphere, despite pockets of security breaches therein, lately.

The COAS reiterated the Nigerian army’s commitment to sustain the peace in Calabar, noting that the recently launched Exercise Crocodile Smile in Cross River State had helped to checkmate militancy in the area and other parts of the South-South region in Nigeria.

He solicited the support of the civil populace in the task of securing the nation, adding that security is a collective responsibility for the entire citizenry.

While presenting his address at the occasion, governor Ayade thanked the Nigerian army for its recent contribution towards the restoration of peace in Cross River State.

He said the army had always been there for the state whenever she was called upon, especially during the recent security challenges experienced in Calabar.

The governor advised the developers of the housing estate to take into cognizance the importance of nature in the course of building.

According to him, the focus of the design should be eco-friendly.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the Cross River commissioner for New Cities Development, Barr. George Ekpungu, said the investment was in line with the policy thrust of the governor Ben Ayade’s led administration, to develop mega cities across the state.

He said the New Cities ministry was established inorder to replicate the Federal Government’s template for the housing sector in Nigeria, with a view to build high quality and affordable houses for the citizenry.

“The governor of Cross River State in his visionary creation which have often been described as dream it; do it, established this ministry because of his thought of the president’s vision for housing for Nigerians”he said.

BY  LANRE AROTIMI
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