Buhari warns Bayelsa communities against vandalising FG projects
President Muhammadu Buhari has warned communities in Bayelsa State against vandalising Federal Government’s projects located in their domains.
Buhari said that communities, which continued to destroy government projects instead of owning and protecting them would no longer be considered for projects henceforth.
The President spoke when he inaugurated a shoreline protection and land reclamation project in Aleibiri, Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state.
The project was reportedly built by the Ecological Funds Office of the Federal Government to address coastal erosion in the area.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, said responsible and well-behaved communities would continue to attract federal government projects.
A statement signed by Lokpobiri’s Media Assistant, George Oji, said the President expressed concerns that in the past completed and inaugurated projects were vandalised by their beneficiaries.
He said: “I have advised the beneficiaries of the projects we have commissioned today to own these projects, take these projects as their own and if we hear that these projects are being vandalised, government will be very hesitant to provide more infrastructures for them again.”
He described coastal erosion as a major challenge affecting all the communities in the state but said government would gradually address the problems because of cost implications.
The President said he was determined and committed to the development of the entire country including remote areas.
He disclosed that the Aleibiri shoreline project was one out of the 16 ecological intervention projects approved in the second quarter of 2017 to solve problems of environmental degradation.
He expressed optimism that the project would bring huge relief to the Aleibiri community, adding that it would set the stage for more remedial measures expected to stabilise the socio-economic wellbeing of the people.
In his remarks, Director, Coastal Management, Ecological Funds Office, Yusuf Aliyu Adi, who represented the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) commended the cordial relationship that existed between the indigenous contractor, and the people.
Reacting to the request by the Aleibiri community to extend the shoreline protection project beyond the 100 meter length and to increase the height of the project, Adi promised to take the request to the appropriate office at the SGF, Abuja.
He expressed optimism that the erosion funds office would be inclined to acceding to the community’s demands, adding that the community should first ensure proper management of the existing project.