Residents commend FCTA on streetlight rehabilitation
• Management laments activities of vandals
Abuja residents have commended the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) for the rehabilitation of faulty streetlights in major link roads within Abuja.
The major roads are those linking Kubwa to Wuse, Berger junction to Area 1, Wuye, and roads through Garki, Jabi, and Asokoro. All the roads within the city centre whose streetlights have been in ruins now have their lamps replaced.
According to residents, the rehabilitation, which started towards the last quarter of last year, will reduce petty crimes in Abuja.
Commending the efforts, a resident, Caleb Idara, said: “This is highly commendable; darkness is evil and it propels petty crimes. At the beginning of 2021, my friends and I were robbed along the Jabi road because the whole place was dark. Repairing streetlights will thoroughly reduce the tendencies, we can now drive and not be apprehensive because we’re driving on a road with streetlights that are not fictional.”
Ishaya Idris, a commuter also commended the ongoing rehabilitation, adding: “Abuja recently is becoming more and more organised compared to 2020. I started noticing the repair in the last quarter of last year. Before now the city was losing its glory, you can imagine its beautiful stretch of roads with streetlights that are not functional, it is an irony. I pray this continues and robs off on other infrastructure like the bad roads within the FCT.”
Veronica Okonta, a school teacher disagrees, saying the ongoing rehabilitation has a political undertone to it. She said: “This is a gimmick from the current administration that has performed badly in maintaining Abuja. They started fixing the streetlights because of the elections, it’s a poor attempt to take our minds off the government’s inability to deliver the dividend of democracy. Before now the city was looking so beautiful at night because of the streetlights, but all of a sudden everything nosedived. In the same way, the roads are bad and the administration is not doing anything about it. I use this medium to call on all Nigerians to come out and exercise their franchise. Let’s vote for a better government to power.”
Reacting to the development, Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, Umar Shuaibu, said: “The policy behind street lights is that the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) attaches bills to streetlights. This means the primary responsibility of providing power to the streetlights solely belongs to the AEDC. We build the infrastructure and hand it over to them. We are a public sector, and sadly wherever there is a challenge we are blamed for it. When there is a shortage of power supply, it affects the streetlights but we go the extra mile to have standby generators for the streetlights. There are challenges that come with that, the cost of maintaining generators, and the abysmal increase in the price of diesel.
Shuaibu pleaded with residents to be patriotic and get involved in governance by being alert and report vandals. “The major challenge we face is the activities of vandals. We wake up in the morning and find that vandals go in the night and cut down and remove the heads of standalone solar streetlights. While we are doing our best to secure these facilities, we also want residents to help us, whenever they see any suspicious movement in the night, they should report.