– Conversations on how to put an end to the destruction of public infrastructures has officially commenced
– The initiative organised by the ministry of information, seeks to sensitize citizens on the need to see government property as theirs
– The idea of town hall meetings was conceived to bridge the gap between the federal government and the citizenry
FCT, Abuja – The minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the destruction of public infrastructure in Nigeria is a form of terrorism.
The town hall meeting with a specific focus on protecting public infrastructure was attended by the minister of works and housing; Babatunde Fashola, minister of transportation; Chibuike Amaechi, minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika and the FCT minister, Mohammed Bello.
Alhaji Mohammed lamented the attacks on government buildings and the killing of security operatives, adding that tampering with aviation infrastructure endangers the lives of travellers.
The minister said the town hall meeting was imperative because it touched on an issue at the core of economic growth and national development, adding that it calls for great concern and immediate action when public infrastructure is being targeted for destruction.
He said the country has long suffered a massive infrastructure deficit due to decades of neglect, population explosion, and the absence of maintenance culture.
He, however, said since coming into office in 2015, the Muhammadu Buhari administration has embarked on ensuring rapid economic growth with equity.
He said the administration has invested heavily in providing new infrastructure, reconstructing and rehabilitating existing ones, in spite of a drastic drop in revenue and competing priorities.
He lamented that:
“In recent times, such laudable efforts of the government are being thwarted by some unpatriotic citizens through wanton destruction of critical infrastructure.
“This is why we have decided to organise a series of town hall meetings to address this incessant and worsening destruction of public infrastructure and facilities.”
He added that the town hall meeting will help to create in the public mind that government assets are citizens’ property and must be protected for the benefit of all.
At the event, Fashola made a presentation with pictorial evidence showing how Nigerians in various states of the federation were damaging public infrastructures.
On his part, Amaechi noted that the damages caused by vandals to rail tracks can cost lives if the train derails.
He called for stiffer penalties for those caught and found guilty by a competent court of law to serve as a deterrent to others.
Also speaking, Sirika gave instances of how some vandals targeted various airports in the country, putting travellers at risk.
Bello, the FCT minister, informed the audience on steps taken by his administration to ensure that defaulters are punished according to the law, even as he asked security personnel in the federal capital to pay attention to the damage done to public infrastructures by members of the public.
In a related development, the APC Legacy Awareness & Campaign (APC-LAC), has declared that the Buhari-led administration committed more resources to infrastructure than any other administration in Nigeria since 1999.
The administrations before President Muhammadu Buhari include former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
Meanwhile, Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina on Saturday, May 29 declared that Nigeria has become a better country than it was before the president’s ascension into office in 2015.
Adesina, a veteran journalist, made the assertion in an article he shared on his social media pages to commemorate Buhari’s six years in office.
In the article, Adesina reeled out what he called the achievements of the Buhari administration in six years.