The Federal Government has warned Bayelsa communities where projects are sited that if existing ones were vandalised such communities would not benefit from future projects.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, gave the warning when he commissioned a shoreline protection and land reclamation project built by the ecological funds office of the Federal Government for the Aleibiri community in the Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State
He said communities that allowed Federal Government projects to be vandalised or failed to maintained them would have themselves to blame as they would not benefit from new projects.
He said communities that protect and take ownership of Federal Government projects cited in their communities will continue to attract more government patronage of development projects.
“I have advised the beneficiaries of the projects we have commissioned today to own these projects, take these projects as their own and if we hear that these projects are being vandalised, government will be hesitant to provide more infrastructures for them,” he said.
Lokpobiri, who described coastal erosion as a major challenge affecting all the communities in the state, expressed regret that because of the cost implications involved in the construction of shoreline protections in the areas, there is no way government can do all of them at the same time.
The minister, who provided an insight into some of the projects, disclosed the Aleibiri shoreline project was one, out of the 16 ecological intervention projects approved by Buhari in the second quarter of 2017 for the community, which has been experiencing serious erosion and environmental degradation challenges.
He expressed optimism that the intervention project would bring huge relief to the Aleibiri community and noted that the laudable project would set the stage for more remedial measures expected to stabilise the socio-economic wellbeing of the people.
Director, Coastal Management, Ecological Funds Office, Yusuf Aliyu Adi, who represented the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) in his remarks, commended the cordial relationship that existed between the contractor, and the people, which made the completion of the project on time.