Wike Calls For Stiffer Penalty On Vandalism

By: Wisdom Acka

FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, has called on the National Assembly to review the law against vandalism in the Federal Capital Territory to ensure that culprits face severe consequences for their crimes.

Wike made the call on Thursday while featuring at the on-going Ministerial Sectoral Update at the Radio House, Abuja.

The programme is organized to mark one year anniversary of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

The Minister noted that the current law against vandalism in the FCT, which prescribes N10, 000 fine on conviction was not punitive enough to deter vandals from the act.

His words: “Take for example, the issue of streetlights on Abuja streets. Today you put streetlights, tomorrow night, it is no longer there. What happened? They have vandalised them. They cut off the cables. You arrest them for prosecution, and what does the law say on conviction, N10,000. So, they continue with the act.”

“We have told the National Assembly that they must come to our aide by amending and reviewing the law to make it very tough as to discourage vandals from vandalizing our infrastructures,” he said.

Wike also disclosed that the administration would build 10,000 affordable houses, to be named, ‘Renewed Hope City’, for the poor and the vulnerable in the FCT; adding that the project would be captured in the next budget.

“In our next budget, we want to build a ‘Renewed Hope City’. This is for affordable houses, not for the big men. We are going to provide infrastructure, build and allocate the houses to the poor. We have in our mind to build 10,000 houses for the poor,” he added.

Commenting on revenue generation, the Minister called on the Abuja Municipal Area Council AMAC to allow the FCT Administration to collect the revenue in the city to avoid double taxation and harassment by touts.

“On harassment by touts because of revenue collection and others, we have called and sat down with the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) group, and told them that the only way to allow decency in the collection of revenue is to form a committee and have an account where the revenue comes to the FCTA, and they collect their own share. By doing so, you will reduce touting, harassment and double taxation. And they have agreed. After all, the law allows them to take 10 percent of our IGR,” the Minister reiterated.