Expert Seeks End to Destruction of Public Infrastructure

finance & economy - May 17, 2021

The President of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Nigeria and Managing Director, CEO of Smile Air, Alex Nwuba has reacted to the recent vadalisation of parts of the Itakpe-Warri rail line.

He condemned the destruction of the rail line, noting that many citizens do not feel a sense of justice and partnership in the Nigerian project; hence they are detached from government and its policies.

Therefore, said governments at all levels must give the citizens a feeling of ownership by making host communities of public infrastructure responsible for the protection of such facilities in their area.
Nwuba explained that majority of Nigerian citizens are alienated so they do not have a feeling of government presence in their lives; rather, they see government as a distant creation and fail to realise that infrastructural facilities such as rail, road, hospitals, schools and others are meant for their benefits.

He also recommended that governments at the federal, state and local councils should reconnect with the people so that they will have a sense citizenship and patriotism and see government projects as their projects, which they have the duty to protect.

The Managing Director of Smile Air wondered what would have happened if the vandals were not seen and train inadvertently moved through the broken rails, remarking that it would have derailed and ended in tragic accident.

He explained: “This moment captures for me the condition of a country called Nigeria, a place where the government has invested heavily in infrastructure and nothing in justice.

“The track thieves tell the entire story, you can build great infrastructure, but of what value is that if the people that ride on it will ultimately die because some people steal the tracks? It is telling that disaster was averted by the police before the train came; the country itself is on the same track; how do we prevent a crash?”

He noted that government has invested heavily in infrastructure including the rail system, saying it appears no investment in justice without which the track thieves operate with impunity.
“Nigeria operates with laws in the books that appear to be made for some and not for others, the government has a special class of citizens that must be protected, no matter their crimes and others that should be pilloried; even if they committed no crime.

“Injustice is nothing more than doing what is not morally right or fair both of which are often at the pleasure of the actor. The consequence is that those that have nothing to lose have everything to gain by misdeed and all feel the consequence,” Nwuba said.

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