•Naval Chief inaugurates houses, others

French now compulsory in Navy schoolsThe Nigerian Navy yesterday said French language has become compulsory in its secondary schools.

The move, it was learnt, was part of efforts to bridge the communication gap between Nigeria and its neighbouring French-speaking countries and add value to its students.

Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba spoke in Lagos during his annual inspection and inauguration of projects at Navy Town.

Among the projects inaugurated were a N170 million newly built and equipped diagnostic centre, the Physics, Biology and computer laboratories at the Navy Secondary School, Ojo; a car park, the reconstructed First and Second Avenue roads, blocks of classroom, 24 blocks of two and 17 blocks of three-bedroom flats for Senior Ratings and Lieutenant Commanders, 24 one-bedroom flats at the campsite; pilot quarters, female transit accommodation as well as the rehabilitated Naval Ordinance Depot (NOD) Jetty.

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Ezeoba said he was pleased with the performance of the French teacher at the school.

He explained that irrespective of the students’ discipline, studying French was a must in all Navy schools.

“As a matter of policy, French must follow all the students to the SS3. It is their choice to make, whether to register it in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) examinations or not.

“We must do things differently and add value to our students. That will make them more competitive in this 21st century,” Ezeoba said.

Inaugurating the computer laboratory, the CNS directed the school authorities to document an intervention and assistance they had received from individuals and corporate bodies and make same available to him in two weeks.

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Ezeoba said he was motivated by the quest to leave a good legacy for posterity to judge.

The Naval chief said the houses were built for its personnel from savings, adding that they were not captured in the capital budget.

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, said the Naval chief’s annual inspection and one year anniversary enabled him to assess the level of implementation of set goals.

He described Navy Town in Ojo as a key welfare unit, because it doubled as the main barracks in Lagos and hosted the Navy Reference Hospital and several welfare schools.

At the inauguration of first and second avenue roads as well as blocks of flats for officers and senior Ratings, the Commander, NNS Wey, Ojo, Commodore E. R. Yakubu said the realisation of the projects was surprising beause of the period of their award and completion.

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He said the contract was awarded on March 22, last year.

According to him, on assumption of office, Ezeoba ensured its completion on record time.

“Majoriy of the houses in Navy Town were old and dilapidated. The worst hit areas were the senior ratings, lieutenants and lieutenant-Commanders’ quarters.

“This situation led to the abandonment or forfeiture of official accommodation by the residents, which created colosal housing problems,” Yakubu said.


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