A FEW weeks after The ICIR report on the menace of open manholes in Abuja, the House of Representatives has 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).
Mohammed defined a manhole as “an opening used as an access point for an underground public utility, allowing inspection, maintenance and system upgrades”.
He added “A manhole or maintenance hole usually has a removable cover for the opening, which is large enough for a person to pass through.
“Many people have sustained permanent injuries as a result of falling into open manholes while many vehicle tyres have been damaged as a result of running over the manholes.
“The activities of scavengers and other unpatriotic individual is responsible for the theft of manhole covers that are not secured or locked.”
The motion was unanimously adopted after being put to a voice vote by the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila.
The House, therefore, directed that the Federal Capital Territory Administration should immediately cover all open manholes to prevent further endangerment to persons and properties.
The House also mandated the Committee on the FCT to ensure compliance and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.
It also urged the Nigeria Police Force to provide surveillance security at all times against theft of manhole covers.
The ICIR, in a report, discovered that more than 600 manholes are not covered in the FCT, posing a grave danger to unsuspecting motorists, visitors and pedestrians.