he Nigerian Army has taken steps to further strengthen its civil-military cooperation by renovating and remodeling the science laboratories and toilets in Community Secondary Grammar School, Oban in Cross River.
Inaugurating the project on Friday in Oban, Akamkpa Local Government Area, Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), said the project was one of the community based quick impact projects by the force.
The project was initially taken up by the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) in 2006 but was abandoned and the structure collapsed due to weather impact.
Represented by Maj.-Gen. Markus Kangye, Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Army Headquarters, Yahaya said the project was tailored towards bridging the communication gap between the civil public and Nigerian Army.
“The Nigerian Army has taken deliberate steps over the years to ensure that it gives back to the society the cooperation it receives by providing safety nets to communities in need.
“I wish to state that the Nigerian Army has enjoyed and I hope will continue to enjoy the cooperation of the good people of Oban community in surmounting insecurity in Cross River and Nigeria.
“The remodeled and renovated school facilities will help in ensuring a conducive learning environment that will enhance the productivity of the youths of Nigeria,” he maintained.
On his part, the project executor, Maj.-Gen. Victor Offiong, said education was a key to unlocking a brighter future for the children, regardless of their background and circumstances.
He added that community secondary schools were more than just buildings, they were hubs of learning, innovation and growth that served as a beacon of hope, especially for the rural underprivileged child.
In his remarks, Clan Head of Oban, Mr Stephen Mbey, commended the Nigerian Army and noted that the school was established in 1978 and after many years its facilities started deteriorating.
Mbey said under the Community Development Intervention Programme, NDDC selected three blocks of the school for renovation in 2006 but after de-roofing the building, the contractor disappeared with the materials and all efforts to get him back failed.
Similarly, Mrs Valentina Effiom, Principal of Community Secondary Grammar School who was extremely excited, said before now, the small laboratory they had was ill-equiped.
She said they had to buy equipment every year for the children to write the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), adding that now the children would have a wonderful experience learning.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that the remodeled facilities include a Biology Laboratory, Physics Laboratory, a Chemistry Laboratory and separate toilets with water system for the boys and girls. (NAN)