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How to protect, own nation’s infrastructural facilities – Minister

How to protect, own nation's infrastructural facilities - Minister

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How to protect, own nation’s infrastructural facilities – Minister

By Tada JUTHA, Maiduguri

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; has said that communities are to be sensitized on the ‘protection and ownership’ of public infrastructural facilities across the nation.

According to him, it will expose, arrest and prosecute those engaged in buying infrastructural items along with those who bring them to sell.

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Mohammed spoke yesterday (Thursday) in Maiduguri at a Town Hall meeting to address the vandalisation of power and telecommunications infrastructure.

He said that the federal government has invested heavily in providing the infrastructure; as well as reinvesting and rehabilitating the existing ones.

“In recent times, however; such laudable efforts of the government have been flaunted by some unpatriotic citizens,” stating that such acts comprise wanton destruction of critical infrastructures; thereby depriving the people of enjoying the facilities’ services.

He lamented that the railway tracks are being subjected to wanton vandalism, break railings are being removed and man-hole covers are pilfered.

Other infrastructural facilities were destroyed, including critical aviation, power and telecommunication infrastructure.

He noted that the consequences of such unpatriotic actions and behaviours endangered the lives of people.

Besides, he added that the toll it takes on the government’s limited revenues to replace and rehabilitate or construct such destroyed infrastructure is enormous.

The Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Sule Abdulaziz said that since the destruction of Maiduguri/Damaturu and Maiduguri/Damboa/Biu power lines, N1.77 billion revenue losses were incurred.

“It’ll cost us N880 million to replace the eight destroyed high tension towers in the state,” he said.

While speaking on measures against vandalisation, the Minister said: “We set out to achieve four objectives at this town hall meeting to protect public infrastructure.”

He said that they include the creation in the public mind that government property belongs to the people by protecting them for the benefit of all.

“You should sensitise the larger citizens to support a wider spread campaign on the protection and ownership of public infrastructure,” he said, as the Buhari administration has placed ga greater premium on the building of infrastructure for economic growth and development.

He declared that the borrowing of funds was to build the first-class infrastructure that will benefit future generations and not for recurrent expenditures and payments of salaries.

Responding to Minister’s call, Governor Babagana Zulum, said: “Town Hall meetings are effective in the dissemination of information on critical public issues of governance,” adding that they serve as a bridge between and government and the people.

Lamenting on destroyed power lines and towers, he said: “The power and communication infrastructure have been destroyed by Boko Haram terrorists in the Jakana/Auno axis on January 25, 2021,” stating that this plunged the entire state into darkness for nine months.

He said despite expending millions of naira on repairs of destroyed power lines, the same was also destroyed in 24 hours.

The Governor suggested that; as it has become a matter of technological imperative for the federal government to deploy technology to protect critical infrastructure.

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The citizens, according to him, should be sensitized on their moral obligation to protect infrastructural facilities in their communities.

He, therefore, warned that the protection of such facilities should not be left to the government alone.

How to protect, own nation’s infrastructural facilities – Minister

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