The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said it has put the cost of replacing vandalised, stolen or damaged facilities in the four major roads of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) alone, at over N5 billion.
In a paper he presented at a stakeholder conference on ‘Protection, Preservation and Community Ownership of Public Assets and Critical Infrastructure’, organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, lamented the huge burden posed by the vandalism of public assets and critical infrastructure.
Bello noted the money, which could have been spent on executing new infrastructure or providing utilities in new districts, is being spent on the replacement of vandalised assets.
Represented by the director of engineering, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Engr. Shehu Ahmad Hadi, the minister disclosed that the administration has set up a committee for the replacement, reconstruction and restoration of vandalised public assets and infrastructure in the territory.
He added that the committee, which is headed by the executives, FCDA, Engr. Umar Gambo Jibrin, is also to ascertain the scope of the challenge and to proffer long-lasting solutions, to stem the negative development.
The minister also disclosed that in the short run, security and surveillance have been beefed up around public assets and critical infrastructure in the FCT to apprehend and prosecute the vandals.
In a keynote paper at the occasion, former director-general of NOA, Chief Tonnie Iredia, stressed the need to take the people into confidence in the conception, planning and location of public assets and infrastructure.
Iredia noted that the bane of the fortunes of these infrastructures has more to do with the alienation of the communities where these facilities were located; adding that people’s felt needs and priorities should always be taken into consideration in sitting public assets and projects.