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Streetlight: Contractors attribute darkness in FCT to vandalism, power outages

Summary

Mr Festus Ugwegbu, Legal Secretary, FCT Streetlights Maintenance Contractors, has attributed the darkness experienced in parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to vandalism and power outages.

Ugwegbu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sun…


Mr Festus Ugwegbu, Legal Secretary, FCT Streetlights Maintenance Contractors, has attributed the darkness experienced in parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to vandalism and power outages.

Ugwegbu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja that the streetlights were properly maintained, functional and ready to shine, but for power outages and acts of vandalism.

‘The major problem with streetlights in the FCT is constant power outages and load shedding by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).

‘Furthermore, there is a high rate of vandalism, as mentioned, which obviously affects the total cost of contract execution.

‘Otherwise, the streetlights are always active and ready to shine,’ he said.

The legal secretary debunked reports in a section of the media that the darkness experienced in parts of the FCT was due to laxity on the part of the contractors.

He said despite failed appeals to the FCT administration to review their two-year contract as a result of inflation, the
contractors have continued to optimally deliver on their responsibility.

‘To put the record straight, the contract was awarded in August 2022, and it is expected to end by July 31, 2024, with a fixed contract rate from inception, irrespective of inflation and the hike in prices of materials and labour.

‘Nevertheless, we have been delivering our assigned responsibilities despite failed appeals to the FCT for a review of the contract, and price variation to reflect the effects of inflation on the cost of executing this project,’ Ugwegbu said.

According to him, the fact that the contractors are still being owed has not deterred them from meeting their contractual agreement.

He said the long term solution to the issue was to have a dedicated and independent power source to power the streetlights.

‘As professionals, the solution to the problem of darkness in FCT is to provide a dedicated and independent power source to serve and support the illumination of our streets.

‘Steps should also be taken by the FCT
administration to ensure that areas not currently under the purview of any contractor is duly awarded to an eligible contractor for maintenance and security,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria