The Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) has lamented the lack of functional street lights in parts of nation’s capital, in spite of huge sums of money invested in lighting up the streets by the Administration.
The outgoing Coordinator of AMMC, Hajiya Safiya Umar told The Authority in a chat recently that measures were taken to avert dark streets in Abuja, but that vandals which she suspects may have connived with professional technicians who may have worked for their contractors before as well as staff staff are sabotaging their efforts.
Hajiya Safiya Umar said: “Along Mabushi road we have vandalised transformers and vandalised components of the transformers. We changed all our contractors, you should expect some level of sabotage; these are the Executive Secretary worked on not long ago.”
She continued: “From Mabusi area down to the Minister’s area in Gwarimpa, Life Camp, there are some faulty transformers, these transformers belong to Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), most times AEDC is supposed to maintain these transformers because we pay them heavily and if they refuse to repair the transformers, we end up doing the repairs from our own end. Recall that some time last year, the Minister made Engineering Services Department and the former Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Territory (FCDA) to rehabilitate all the transformers and in fact replace some of them”.
On her suspicion of connivance, she explained that when some arrests were made they discovered that “those vandalising our cables included staff of Maintenance Department and in the process one of the contractors confessed colluding with staff of Maintenance Department to vandalise our cables and streetlights and she also revealed that in the whole locations, she has only four staff and she prefers to work with staff of our Department. Also when we arrested some vandals at RRI, behind Wonderland about four of our staff were part of the vandals and three of the contractors staff were part of the vandals. Some of them are serving terms of imprisonment in Keffi Prisons, some have been suspended, while others dismissed from service.”
She explained that its not only transformers that are being vandalised, but cables are being removed, lighting kiosks including LT and the HT and other components are being completely removed.
At the Jabi area of the city, cables have also been removed, but the contractor was helping with the tracing of the cable cut, she stated.
Hajiya Umar suggested that since the police have been overwhelmed and can not be everywhere, it would be wise if a City Guard is formed by the FCTA to watch over public infrastructure in the city.
By Ben Adoga