The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on Nigerians to ensure adequate protection of public infrastructure within their area, saying it is imperative to national development.
The Director-General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari, gave the charge in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday. Abari, who expressed concern at the recent increase in the wave of vandalism of public infrastructure, urged those involved in such destruction of public assets to stop the unpatriotic acts. The director-general, while blaming the destruction of public infrastructure in some parts of the country on moral decadence among the youths, said the agency would redouble efforts in value reorientation. “We will continue to do community engagement using our community mobilization officers, who live and speak the languages of these communities therefore, our communication will become easier. “We are engaged in value reorientation, in fact, we will continue to do that under our permanent dialogue mechanism. “We have been talking about building a people’s peace and campaign against heinous social practices, ’’ Abari said. According to him, there must be three levels of engagement to address this menace of public infrastructure destruction.
“First, there must be an engagement with the communities because the infrastructure that we are talking about passes through communities. “Whether it is oil pipeline, electric cable, rail lines or aviation infrastructure items, all of these pass through communities. “Because they pass through communities, communities must be conscious of the need to protect these items because they belong to the nation,’’ he said.
According to him, these are national assets and their benefits are imperative to national development. “Therefore, we must not allow these miscreants and unpatriotic elements to destroy these national assets. “We also need to engage relevant stakeholders such as state government and non-governmental bodies to key into this campaign and sensitisation.“This will make state governments to legislate sanctions within the ambit of their law,’’ he said.
Abari said that the court fines on suspects found guilty of destroying public infrastructure was not encouraging and worrisome, considering the consequences they caused to the innocent people and the country. “I think both the National Assembly and state governments have a role to play in ensuring that sufficient sanctions commensurate with the actions because this is a very serious crime against the country. “Thirdly, there is a need to engage government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies especially the service ministries to continuously be vigilant so that the country does not experience any further doomsday. “So, this is actually what the NOA is doing. We have done this at our own level twice at our town hall meeting. “What we did was to take it to a higher level by bringing in relevant ministers to talk about their experiences of the damage that have been done to the national asset,’’ he said. (NAN)
By Deji AbdulwahabAbuja, June 9, 2021 (NAN)
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