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After ICIR report, FCDA recovers 700 stolen Manhole covers

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THE Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has recovered about 700 stolen manhole and gully covers.

The Executive Secretary of FCDA, Shehu Ahmad disclosed this on Thursday, November 24, in Abuja while briefing journalists on efforts to safeguard vital national infrastructure in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Ahmad said the FCT Administration was concerned over the destruction of manholes and gully covers and has aggressively stepped up efforts with the security services to address the matter.

He said the Minister of the FCT, Muhammed Bello, gave a directive to the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) to protect critical infrastructure 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 exhibits because the issue is in court.

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

“The AGF ordered the court to release those exhibits so that we can replace some of them because they have a larger chuck of them, over 600 to 700 pieces, but it will not do much by the time we collect them and start replacement on a stretch of a road we need more than a thousand,” he said.

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Ahmad added that the FCT Administration was considering alternative products with a lower second-hand value which would discourage vandals from stealing Manhole covers.

“We are now using some other products which have less second-hand value from our understanding and belief because the vandals are still thinking of how to still make value from the alternative we are trying to make,” he added.

In May 2022, The ICIR reported that uncovered Manholes and gully pots are posing danger to FCT residents.

Many residents, who sustained injuries after falling inside the open Manholes, narrated their ordeals.

A few weeks after The ICIR report on the menace of open manholes in Abuja, the Federal House of Representatives directed the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to replace all stolen manhole covers on the roads.

The motion for the replacement of stolen manholes was moved under matters of urgent national importance by Musa Mohammed Pali (APC, Bauchi).

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