FCT Earkmarks N3bn To Replace Stolen Manhole Covers – Minister

FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Musa Bello, has disclosed that the Ministry would have to spend about N3 billion to replace stolen manhole covers across the capital city.

Bello, made the disclosure on Tuesday, while playing host to the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ahmed Abubakar Audi.

Audi expressed concern about the disturbing criminal trend of vandalism of public infrastructure in the city, especially manhole covers, and vowed to deploy tactical teams to end the menace.

Bello, while noting that the infrastructure was very expensive and of the highest quality and standards, lamented the recent unprecedented scale of vandalism of manhole covers, telecommunication installations, street light solar panels at traffic intersections, cables, rails and bridges.

He also lamented the scale of expenditure incurred to maintain damaged or vandalised infrastructure and charged the Corps to go a step further by targeting the markets where these items are sold.

“And going forward, i think the Corps has to target the markets and that requires tremendous amount of intelligence gathering so that, you are able to look at the entire value chain.

“Those that steals the items sell it somewhere and most times, they are being transported outside Abuja, but they must have a place they store them before transportation.

“On manhole alone, we have an expenditure of about N3 billion for us to replace what has been stolen and because they are specialised items, even if you have the money on ground, you can’t get them, it has to be ordered, it has to be fabricated”, the Minister revealed.

He further appealed to the CG to focus priority attention on public assets and infrastructure protection in the FCT, and suggested the the Corps “really deploy extra men and women across the city to target infrastructure protection”.

The Minister expressed confidence that with the calibre of intelligence staff of the Corps, a lot of success would be recorded if they work assiduously to fight the menace of vandalism.

CG Ahmed noted that stealing of these items occur even on presidential routes, and gave assurances that the FCT Command of the Corps will increase surveillance on those manholes and deploy its tactical team for public infrastructure protection.

“We are going liase and work closely with the Director of security and SSA on security to identify vulnerable areas so that we can deploy our team of specialised intelligence officers who have just returned from training to give us information”, CG said.

The NSCDC CG appreciated the FCT Minister for the recent donation of operational vehicles to the FCT Command of the Corps, and reiterated that it boosted its operations. He promised judicious use of the vehicles to curb crime and criminalities in the FCT.

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