FG tightens security on Third Mainland Bridge over vandalism

 June 10, 2024

FG tightens security on Third Mainland Bridge over vandalism

The Federal Ministry of Works is stepping up security measures in collaboration with the police to curb vandalism on the Third Mainland Bridge and safeguard this crucial public infrastructure.

The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mrs Olukorede Kesha, emphasized this commitment in an interview with newsmen on Sunday.

This development follows the recent arrest of a suspected vandal by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command.

The suspect was caught in the act of removing LED road stud lights from the newly-renovated Third Mainland Bridge, having already taken down 10 lights.

Kesha reiterated the ministry’s zero-tolerance stance on vandalism of public assets.

As part of the enhanced security measures, police trucks have been strategically positioned on the bridge to enable rapid response to incidents and deter vandalism.

“We have written to the commissioner of police to ensure more surveillance on the Third Mainland Bridge, and we have stationed police trucks on the bridge.

“Police officers now patrol the bridge more frequently; this increased security measures have led to the arrest of a number of miscreants, who were vandalising public property.

“We saw that the cat eye lights were vandalised, and the vandals were promptly arrested and taken to police custody.

“More miscreants were also arrested for vandalism even on Monday. This shows a strong response from the authorities.

“ Our eyes are on Third Mainland Bridge,” Kesha said.

Cat eye lights are small reflective markers on the road that enhance visibility at night.

Kesha also expressed regret over vandalism on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

She said, “The newly-installed street lights on Kara Bridge on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway suffered vandalism as soon as the cables were completed.

“As a result, the street lights are now standing there but cannot be used because the cables are missing.

“We are waiting for the contractors to re-do the wiring and energise it. Once the repairs are completed, we ask the Lagos State commissioner of police to increase patrol in the area to prevent further vandalism.’’

She mentioned that the Federal Government had replaced nearly all manhole covers stolen by miscreants on federal roads in Lagos State.

To deter further theft, the ministry switched to using Polyvinyl Chloride on the Third Mainland Bridge, replacing iron gratings on manholes with it.

PVC is not only cheaper than iron gratings but also reduces overall replacement costs and is potentially easier to identify and less attractive to thieves.

The Federal Controller of Works, expressing concern about the high rate of vandalism of public infrastructure, urged vandals to change their ways.

She cautioned that anyone caught vandalizing public property would face police action.

Kesha reaffirmed the government’s commitment to maintaining project momentum despite challenges.

She said, “The setbacks have not, in any way, affected project implementation; the government is doing what it is supposed to do.

“We are increasing surveillance to protect our common investments, the bridges and lights.”

She advised Nigerians to protect public property as if they were their private property.

She also urged Nigerians to report any vandalism or potential threats on public property to the relevant authorities.

In response, the Chief Executive Officer of Dembally Ltd., a real estate development company, Mr. Ayotunde Bally, commented that vandalism squandered resources.

“As a construction professional, I know that building infrastructure requires significant investments and efforts. Vandalism undermines these efforts,” he said.

He called on security agencies to increase efforts to prevent vandalism and advised governments to involve local communities by educating them about the importance of protecting public infrastructure.

“There is need to work together to build a culture of ownership and responsibility for our national assets,” he said.

Bally remarked that vandalism of public property demonstrated a lack of civic responsibility, disregard for the common good, and selfishness.

He suggested that law enforcement be strengthened and more stringent penalties imposed on vandals.

A mechanical engineer, Mr. Chikezie Obioma, noted that vandalism had significant effects on project implementation.

He explained that it could cause delays as damaged infrastructure would need repairs or replacements, leading to setbacks.

Additionally, vandalism would incur additional costs for repairs, replacements, and security measures.

Obioma said, “Vandalism raises security concerns, requiring increased security measures to protect projects, adding to costs and logistical challenges.

“Repeated vandalism incidents can erode public trust in government projects and undermine confidence in government’s ability to deliver essential services.

“It can disrupt essential services such as power, water and transportation, negatively impacting citizens’ daily lives and the economy.

“It can deter investors and hinder economic growth, as it creates an uncertain and unstable business environment.

“It puts a strain on resources, diverting funds and personnel away from other important projects and priorities as well as undermine development efforts, hindering progress in critical sectors.”

He called on Nigerians to consider public infrastructure as their own and to take pride in maintaining it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *