A town hall meeting on the protection of public infrastructure is currently holding in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The Ministry of Information and Culture had earlier launched the town hall meeting series in Lagos on April 25th, 2016.
Ministers at the event include Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi FCT, Mohammed Bello; Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami among others.
The meeting organised by the Ministry of Information has in attendance stakeholders from all walks of life, including security, traditional, and political institutions.
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed in his opening address said despite the paucity of funds, the current administration has invested massively in infrastructure to tackle the deficit that was in existence before now.
He, however, lamented that efforts by the current administration to develop public infrastructures in the country is being truncated by activities of people bent on destroying those infrastructures.
Mister Mohammed said infrastructures destroyed include rail lines, pipelines, and facilities as well as offices of government agencies including Police stations and INEC offices.
Minister of Works Babatunde Fashola in his address listed federal highway infrastructure that has been damaged.
They include Otedola bridge, Kara bridge, Tamburawa bridge, Obalande bridge among others which according to him costs the government over N4billion to repair.
Fashola said further that encroachment of Right of Way by members of the public, erection of illegal bumps on Federal Highway by some communities, non-removal of broken down/accidental vehicles, damage to road directional signs and other road furniture, use of under bridge and major setbacks.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said foreigners also support the destruction of rail lines in Nigeria.
He explained how a Chinese was caught in Jos, the Plateau State capital vandalising rail lines alongside some Nigerians.
He said at least about 200 cases of rail line vandalism have been recorded in recent times, mostly in the northern region of the country, with the Northcentral having the highest number of cases – 50.
Minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello said in Abuja over 25,000 manhole covers have been tampered with by vandals, and that the sum of N2.6 billion is required to fix them.
According to him, there are instances where security personnel has been found to connive with criminals in carrying out their crime.
He also expressed displeasure over delay in the prosecution of offenders by the court.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika in his address reiterated the call by earlier speakers to strengthen laws for the prosecution of people who engage in the destruction of public property.
President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan represented by Senator Binos Yaroe urged the ministers to propose to the National Assembly laws they deem necessary for checkmating activities of those destroying public assets, as he assured that the National Assembly will not hesitate to pass such law.