EVALUATION OF PROBLEMS OF INSUFFICIENT ACCOMMODATION TO MILITARY PERSONNELS (A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIAN ARMY)
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 eorts
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 eorts
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 inthe past made eorts
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 sorts 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 voicers 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 insuicient
accommodation to military personnel with a special focus on the Nigerian Army.