FCDA retrieves 700 stolen manhole covers, to redeploy on roads

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By Abdullahi Muhammad

Abuja

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

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

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

He revealed that the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa 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 clearly stolen, criminals were arrested and the materials were taken and deposited with the NSCDC as exhibit because the issue is in court.

“For over three to four years we have been battling to retrieve them government to government not until last week that we were able to succeed through the intervention of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

“AGF ordered the court to release those exhibit so that we can replace some of them back.

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

The executive secretary disclosed that the FCT Administration was considering alternative products that have less second hand value which would not attract vandals.

“We are now using some other products which have less second hand value, but the vandals are still thinking of how to still make value from the alternative we are trying to make.

” But honestly we hare been able to get some composite materials.

” We have also reached out to Ajaokuta steel. Under Corporate Social Responsibility, there have been offers, but some of the products didn’t pass our relevant tests for them to be sustainable on our roads.