The Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) said it 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, Alhaji Shehu Ahmad, made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on efforts of the authority to protect critical national infrastructure in the nation’s capital.
Ahmad said that vandalization 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 catch-22 situation. The manholes have been stolen, criminals were arrested and the materials were taken and deposited with the NSCDC as exhibits because the issue is in court,” he said.
He said for over three to four years they have been battling to retrieve the exhibits which they were able to retrieve last week 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 a larger chunk of them is over 600 to 700 pieces but it will not do much by the time, we collect them and start replacement on a stretch of road we need more than a thousand.
“When we collect them, we can provide them for those areas that are a little bit more secure. Even within these premises we can say we can replace some manhole covers with some confidence but outside this area, we cannot guarantee,” he said.