Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation has called on the National Assembly to legislate stiffer punishment for public asset vandalism.
Sirika made the call on Monday, June 7, in Abuja during a town hall meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture with the theme: “Protecting Public Infrastructure”.
Equally important, the minister said that such a move would help to stop or drastically reduce the level of stealing and vandalism of public assets across the nation.
Sirika said efforts should be made to expose, arrest and prosecute all those who engaged in buying pilfered infrastructure items; along with those who brought such to them for sale.
“Unfortunately, we have a very huge work of vandalism of our critical equipment. This poses a threat to our national security assets. The equipment vandalism in aviation is a catastrophe.
“Very high-frequency Radio range, other instruments belonging to Nigerian Meteorological Agency among others in the airports are over destroyed. This is dangerous for flights.
“It is a serious business. We should not allow it. The National Assembly should quickly enact a law to ensure that those people are punished maximally,” he said.
Sirika said he ought to call the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to the level of destruction of the Enugu Airport runway; before it was repaired by the Federal Government with a huge amount of money.
Meanwhile, the minister further stated that civil aviation is not all about terminal buildings.
Sirika said that major important instruments in civil aviation were not easily seen.
“When people think of civil aviation, they think of terminal buildings. Yes, we are proud of the infrastructure which is part of civil aviation.
“But terminal buildings are not standing alone. There is more in civil aviation that is very rear, separate and securely,” he said.
Also speaking, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, said the meeting was deliberately programmed to coincide with the first anniversary of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He said that the platform would also allow the ministers to speak directly to Nigerians about their achievements, challenges, and upcoming programmes.