With the resolutions taken at the recent meeting of the Adhoc Committee on Manhole Covers and relevant stakeholders, Rivers State may have a tax-force committee to address the issue of manhole cover theft.
Speaking during the meeting, the Commissioner for Justice, Zacheaus Adangor had observed that the punishment in the existing Law of Public Works Utility Protection Law should have 5 years inprisonment rather than the 1 year as stipulated in the law.
He also said there was need to set up a group in form a of tax-force committee to curb the menace in the society.
On his part, the commissioner for Transport, Jacobson Nbina supported the call for the constitution of a tax-force committee noting that it would help clampdown on those selling and buying scrap metals in the state.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Rivers State House of Assembly Adhoc committee on Manhole covers, Hon. Oko Jumbo maintained that it would no longer be business as usual for those involved in stealing of manhole covers as well as scrap metal dealers in the state and warned those involved to desist from the act or face prosecution.
The Lawmaker who is representing Bonny Constituency in the state Assembly hinted that the reason for the meeting was to invite scrap metal dealers and community leaders where the manhole covers were being stolen, to further sensitize their youths over the issue.
He however said the public works utility law no 9 of 2012 would be reviewed to attract stiffer penalty on those involved in stealing manhole covers.
The meeting was attended by relevant Stakeholders, some Commissioners and Heads of Ministries in the state.