Nigerian Legion to build mini estate for veterans in Lagos

The Nigerian Legion, Lagos State Chapter, has disclosed its plan to build a mini estate to ease the accommodation needs of its members in the state.

The Nigerian Legion is an off-shoot of the Nigerian Armed Forces. It is a statutory body, as outlined in the Federal Republic of Nigeria official Gazette No. 64 vol. 75 of Sept.30, 1988. It is designed to address the welfare needs of veterans.

The state Chairman of the legion, Deputy Commandant General Akeem Wolimoh, who spoke in an interview over the weekend in Lagos, said the body was concerned and worried about the pitiable condition of most of their colleagues, hence the move to create a mini estate in Epe, where decent accommodation would be provided for members.

He said the body had recently sealed a deal to acquire 283 acres of land in Epe, a fast-growing metropolitan area in Lagos State, to berth decent accommodation for military veterans.

According to Wolimoh, many ex-servicemen are living in one room in shanties and slums in very unfavourable conditions, as a result of lack of accommodation.

“We want to support the needs of military veterans, especially in the area of accommodation, because living in unfavourable conditions has negatively impacted their health.

“As recommended in the Nigerian Legion Act, the legion is saddled with the responsibility to provide hostels and accommodate those veterans, who are perceived to need accommodation.

“It is also recommended that the legion shall provide the necessary support to the families of fallen heroes and deceased ex-servicemen, in one way or the other,” he said.

According to him, the legion plans to build an all-encompassing estate that will have a resort centre, medical facility, farmland, and market, among other things.

He, however, said financial constraints were slowing down the pace of achieving the body’s lofty idea.

“We have, however, met with a financial mortgage institution and we were advised to register a cooperative, which we did in the name of Nigerian Legion Multipurpose Organisation in January 2023.

“Efforts are ongoing to get the necessary approval from the government and then bring in investors because it is a huge project that the legion cannot financially handle on its own. We already have the land, all that is remaining now is the government’s approval; once that is done, construction will start,” he said.

Wolimoh said the first phase of the project would be the construction of 30 housing units, to be completed under the public-private partnership initiative.

“This is of utmost urgency to meet the accommodation challenge of veterans. It will enable us to quickly provide accommodation for 30 families and get them out of the deplorable conditions, in which they presently live.

“By the time the financiers have completed all formalities, we should be able to provide enough accommodation that will address this challenge within a span of between 10 years and 20 years. The housing project that will provide decent shelter for ex-servicemen will be a continuous one,” he said.

Wolimoh explained that the idea to build an encompassing estate to be likened to a farmyard housing estate, was conceived when he was young.