The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has expressed concerns over unabating vandalism of public facilities in Abuja.
Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Olusade Adesola, made this expression over the weekend after an assessment tour of some parts of the city prone and have remained a flash point for floods.
Adesola berated repeated vandalism and theft of expensive gully inlets, manhole covers and other flood containment infrastructure in the city; saying the menace led to “suboptimal performance of the drainage systems and consequent flooding on some city roads”.
He expressed shock that even the gully inlets and manhole covers made of ductile materials that are of little or no second-hand value were targeted by the vandals.
The Permanent Secretary, therefore, solicited support of FCT residents by reporting any suspicious observations to relevant security agencies for prompt action in order to forestall the menace.
His words: “Overall, our assessment has been that to rid the city of flooding is a collective responsibility. The manhole covers that were placed on this particular road, last year, have been removed. They were not removed by ghosts. They were removed by people and this is Federal Capital City where we have all the law enforcement agencies present”.
“We want to beckon on every citizen and our law enforcement agencies to support the efforts of the FCTA in protecting lives and properties through the provision of road furnitures,” Adesola reiterated.
“A lot of resources are committed to replacing these manholes, but not long after they are replaced, they are removed. On this particular road that we are, ductile materials that were thought to be of little or no second-hand value were installed,” he restated.
“But shockingly today, all of them have been removed and nobody has been arrested for removing any”, the Permanent Secretary cried out.
Providing insight into cost of the vandalism, he said: “In a distance of one kilometer, we can have more than 20, 30 floodwater covers, gully inlet covers and maybe one or two or three manhole covers and each gully inlet costs not less than N500,000.
“Multiply this by 20 kilometers, 80 kilometers, 200 kilometers, you know what this translates to. And this is in the face of very competing needs for the meagre resources that we have. This underscores the need for everyone to support the efforts of government to protect this road infrastructure,” he urged.
Adesola also cautioned members of the public who dump refuse into flood drains to desist from doing so; emphasizing, “To members of the public engaging in that, they need to know that these gully inlets are not dumpsites.”
The Permanent Secretary used this opportunity to call on residents to stop dumping refuse into gutters and other water channels because, “They are meant to allow free flow of water through the channels or ducts provided underground”.
“When these ducts are working and there is free flow of water, immediately after a rain, the place would dry up in five minutes because it has taken the whole water away,” he added.
“But when they are blocked, just as you saw at certain locations, the water accumulates, the consequences are grievous as we see. For instance, they soak the roads, damage the roads and create problems for us,” Adesola insisted.
“These gully inlets are not dumpsites for our wastes. We enjoin our citizens not to dump waste there. Use your waste bins”, the Permanent Secretary stated