Rivers State House of Assembly (RSHA) has resolved that the State Government should set up a task force in conjunction with Community Development Committees (CDCs) and youth groups in the 23 Local Government Areas of the State, for the protection of public utilities.
This, they said, is in order to curb the incessant stealing of manhole covers and wire mesh across the state.
This formed part of the sixteen point recommendations proposed by the adhoc committee set up to look into the issue presented by its Chairman and member representing Bonny Constituency, Victor Oko Jumbo.
Part of the recommendations, according to the Chairman, Ad-hoc Committee on the Removal of Manholes, Victor Oko-Jumbo, is for the amendment and activation of relevant sections of the Rivers State Public Works and Utilities Protection Law No.9 of 2012 to ensure stiffer punishment for manhole covers and fencing wire mesh thieves in the state.
Earlier, Deputy Leader of the house, Linda Somieari Stewart, who led the debate, commended the committee for its detailed report.
She said the recommendations will help reduce the stealing of manhole covers in the state.
Speaker of the house, Martin Amaehule, in his submission, ruled that defaulters would be arrested to serve as scape goats.
Meanwhile, Chairman, National Association of Scrap and Waste Dealers in Rivers State, Anayo Ogbu, had during the meeting of the Adhoc Committee with the Association, assured that any dealer who accepts stolen materials would be made to pay a fine and be suspended for a period of time.