Paschal Emeka, Abuja
Bothered by the danger posed by open manholes to pedestrians and vehicles plying major roads in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, the House of Representatives yesterday mandated the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to immediately replace stolen manhole covers on Federal Capital Territory roads.
The House in a matter of urgent public importance raised a motion during plenary and urged the Federal Capital Territory to immediately cover all open manholes in the territory to prevent injury to pedestrians and damage of vehicle tyres.
While raising the motion, Hon. Musa Mohammed Pali explained that manholes allow inspection, maintenance and system upgrades of underground facilities and noted that a manhole or maintenance hole usually has a removable cover for the opening, which is large enough for a person to pass through.
He expressed concern that manhole covers in the Federal Capital Territory are being stolen by unpatriotic individuals, leaving the manholes open and posing a grave danger to unsuspecting motorists and pedestrians.
Hon. Pali further informed that many people have sustained permanent injuries as a result of falling into open manholes, especially while walking on the major streets of FCT in the night and many vehicle tyres have been damaged as a result of running over the manholes.
He lamented the activities of scavengers and other unpatriotic individuals who are responsible for the theft of manhole covers that are not secured or locked.
The House therefore, urged the Federal Capital Territory to immediately cover all open manholes in the territory to prevent further endangerment to persons and properties.
It also urged the Nigeria Police Force to provide surveillance security at all times against theft of manhole covers and mandated the Committee on the Federal Capital Territory to ensure compliance and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.