Emerging report indicates that a Town Hall meeting on the protection of public infrastructure, is currently holding in Abuja, by Leaders of the President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government.
The Ministry of Information and Culture, had earlier launched the Town Hall meeting series in Lagos, on April 25, 2016.
The Ministers at the meeting include those of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; FCT, Mohammed Bello; Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami; among others.
The meeting organised by the Ministry of Information, also has in attendance Stakeholders from all walks of life, including Security, Traditional, and Political Institutions.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, in his opening address, said that despite the paucity of funds, the current administration has invested massively in infrastructure, to tackle the deficit that was in existence before now.
He, however, lamented that the efforts by the President Buhari administration to develop public infrastructures in the country, are being truncated by activities of people bent on destroying those infrastructures.
He said that the infrastructures destroyed include rail lines, pipelines, and facilities, as well as offices of government Agencies, including Police Stations, and offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, in his address at the Town Hall meeting, listed Federal highway infrastructure that have been damaged.
They include Otedola bridge, Kara bridge, Tamburawa bridge, Obalande bridge, among others, which according to him cost the government over N4 billion to repair.
Fashola said that the encroachment of Right of Way by members of the public, erection of illegal bumps on Federal Highway by some communities, non-removal of broken down/accidental vehicles, damage to road directional signs and other road furniture, use of under bridge, and major setbacks, are some of the damages incurred.
Speaking, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, stated that foreigners also support the destruction of rail lines in Nigeria.
He explained how a Chinese was caught in Jos, the Plateau State capital, vandalising rail lines along with some Nigerians.
He said that at least about 200 cases of rail line vandalism have been recorded in recent times, mostly in the Northern region of the country, with the North Central having the highest number of cases (50).
The Minister of the FCT, Mohammed Bello, stated that in Abuja, over 25,000 manhole covers have been tampered with by vandals, adding that, the sum of N2.6 billion is required to fix them.
According to him, there are instances where Security Personnel have been found to connive with criminals in carrying out their crimes.
He also expressed displeasure over delay in the prosecution of offenders by the court.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, in his own address, reiterated the call by earlier Speakers to strengthen laws for the prosecution of people who engage in the destruction of public property.
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, who was represented by Senator Binos Yaroe, in his remarks, urged the Ministers to propose to the National Assembly, laws they deem necessary for checkmating activities of those destroying public assets, as he assured that the National Assembly will not hesitate to pass such laws.
More news later…