The Chief of Army Staff (COAS),Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Monday laid the foundation for construction of 200-bed-capacity Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Maiduguri.
Buratai said while commissioning the project that the establishment of the hospital would be of immense benefit, not only to the military, but also to the people of the Northeast.
He said that Nigerian army was committed to ensuring welfare of its personnel and their families, including families of deceased colleagues.
“We are gathered here today to give boost to our effort by providing effective and efficient healthcare services to personnel, their families, as well as the public within the northeast,”he said.
He explained that the evacuation of personnel to military reference hospital in Kaduna had often resulted in loss of valuable time, especially in emergency cases, in addition to the stress the patients went through during movement to access medical care.
“It is on this premise that the Nigerian Army decided to construct the 200 bed capacity hospital to provide tertiary level care to our troops ,as well as their families and the good people of the Northeast,” he said.
The COAS said that the hospital, when completed, would be adequately staffed and equipped to meet international standards..
“Let me use the medium to commend the officers and men of the Nigerian army for their gallantry in their various operations across the country.
“I must say that they have made remarkable progress in fight against ‘Boko Haram,’ISWAP, and other criminal elements in the country.
“I urged our gallant troops to keep it up and remain professional in performing our constitutional responsibilities,” he said.
The COAS urged relevant stakeholders to support the initiative to enable speedy completion of the projects.
In his remarks, Zulum said that establishment of the hospital would boost the health care requirements and welfare of troops and their families.
Represented by his Chief Of Staff, Alhaji Babagana Wakil, Zulum said the laudable project would not only meet the health needs of the troops but also that of members of the public.
“It will also serve as a morale booster,as well as strengthen the civil-military relationship and add value to the development of the northeast,” he said.