By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said the federal government will do everything in its power to stop the vandalization of public infrastructure across the country.
Lai made the disclosure at the 19th edition of Town Hall Meeting on Protecting Public Infrastructures, held in Abuja yesterday.
The minister in his opening remarks, stated that the issue of destroying public assets has touched the very core of economic growth and national development.
He said when public infrastructure is being targeted for destruction by some unpatriotic Nigerians, it calls for great concern and immediate action.
“Such unpatriotic acts take a toll on the government’s limited revenue, as it seeks to replace, rehabilitate or totally reconstruct such destroyed infrastructure.”
Speaking on protection of public infrastructure, he explained the dire need to sensitize citizenry to support the widespread campaign on the protection and ownership of public infrastructure and assets, especially in the railways, roads and aviation sectors.
“Removal of rail tracks can cause train derailment, with deadly consequences. Tampering with aviation infrastructure endangers the lives of air passengers.
“Attacks on police stations have left many police personnel dead among many others. These are all acts of terror”,he said.
According to him, exposing, arresting and prosecuting all those who engage in buying stollen infrastructure items along with those who bring such to them
to sell has become very necessary.
Similarly, the minister of Works and Housing,Babatunde Fashola, said the damaging of bridges, sign post, housing, highway infrastructure and other public property is disturbing.
“All this destruction of public property are unlawful and improper and create setbacks for our country”.
Fashola maintained that the ability to grow and live a good life is attached to the infrastructure.
He urged citizens and ministries to imbibe the spirit of maintenance in all public assets.
“ All those damaging public property must be made to pay”.
On his part, the minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammed Bello, pointed out the challenges the territory is facing ranging from; vandalization of manhole covers, rails,roads, street light among others.
He said about 25,000 manhole covers are needed inside FCT and 2.6million is need for the replacement of those property.
“This money could have been channeled to health, education and other sectors .
Bello stated the need to engage the judiciary to enforce more strict laws on vandalization.