The Rivers House of Assembly has called for the amendment and activation of relevant sections of the Rivers State Public Works and Utilities Protection Law No.9 of 2012 to proscribe stiffer punishment for manhole covers and fencing wire mesh thieves.
The Chairman adhoc committee on the removal of manholes, Victor Oko- Jaja made the call while presenting the report of the committee on the floor of the house.
His Committee recommended that the Rivers State Public works and protection law 2012 be amended as well as write to the Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara to constitute the public utilities protection committee as enshrined in the law.
The committee also recommended that a task force for the protection of public utilities should be set up in conjuction with CDCs and youth group in the 23 Local Government Areas.
The Lawmaker representing Bonny constituency further stated that the recommendations if carried out would address the menace of stealing of manhols covers in the state
The Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Linda Somiari Stewart opined that the recommendations would help reduce the issues of stealing of manhole covers in the state.
The Speaker, Rt.Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule ruled that defaulters would be arrested to serve as scape goats.
Meanwhile, Chairman of National Association of Scrap and Waste Dealers in Rivers State Mr Anayo Ogbu had during the meeting of the Adhoc Committee with the association promised that any dealer who accepts stolen materials would be made to pay a fine and be suspended for a period of time.