FCDA retrieves 700 stolen manhole covers

By HUDU YAKUBU ABUJA 

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The Federal Capital Development Authority FCDA has retrieved about 700 stolen manholes and gully covers from the court through the intervention of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

The Executive Secretary of FCDA, Mr. Shehu Hadi Ahmad, made the disclosure, in Abuja while briefing Journalists on efforts of the authority to protect critical national infrastructure in the nation’s capital.

Mr. Ahmad said that vandalism of manhole and gully covers has become an issue of concern to the FCT Administration, adding that the administration had intensified efforts with the security agencies to tackle the situation decisively.

He revealed that the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello has made a declaration to the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in FCT, to protect critical infrastructures such as manholes and gully covers, cables, and street lights.

“We are in a like catch-22 situation. The manholes have been stolen, criminals were arrested and the materials were taken and deposited with the NSCDC as an exhibit because the issue is in court.

 “For over three to four years we have been battling to retrieve them from the government not until last week we can break harder through the intervention of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

 “AGF ordered the court to release those exhibits so that we can replace some of them because we have a larger chuck of them over 600 to 700 pieces but it will not do much by the time we collect them and start replacement on a stretch of a road we need more than a thousand.

 “When we collect them we can provide them for those areas that are a lit bit more secure. Even within this premises, we can say we can replace some manhole covers with some confidence but outside this area, we cannot guarantee.”

The Executive Secretary further disclosed that the FCT Administration was considering alternative products that have a less second-hand value which would not attract vandals.

“We are now using some other products which have less second-hand value from our understanding and belief because the vandals are still thinking of how to still make value from the alternative we are trying to make.

“But we have been able to get some composite materials and around this road, you will see some of these things already been deployed. 

 “We have also reached out to Ajaokuta steel and so many people other people are presenting all kinds of products some on Corporate Social Responsibility and some of the products didn’t pass our relevant test for them to be sustainable on our roads.

“But some we have to subject them to give them our specifications and I think some few of such have been confirmed to passed our test and we are also deploying concrete and composite materials now”, he said.

 

Dominica Nwabufo

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