In demonstration of his administration’s readiness to address dearth of critical infrastructure, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commissioned the first Abuja Light Rail system.
The President said the project was a perfect example of the Change Agenda of the government to ensure prudence in the management of public resources, value for money considering the huge investments in this project.
He stated that the modern rail project would hopefully boost the economic and enhance social life greatly, since transportation is the bedrock of any modern city.
“I am aware that what we have on ground today are coaches meant to provide skeletal services as we await the main set of the rolling stock for full operations.’’
He said he had been briefed on the signing of the memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements for the procurements of the main rolling stock.
Buhari assured of the Federal Government’s continued support for all the negotiations towards the realization of the Abuja Light Rail system.
“Today, what we have in the Federal Capital Territory is another evidence that we are a government that delivers on its promises.
“I have observed keenly other milestones that this Administration has achieved, especially in the areas of education, public utilities and infrastructure development. ‘’
Presidenet Buhari commended the efforts Federal Capital Terrirtory (FCT) as well as the support and patience of the residents to made the project a reality.
“I am thankful to the Government and people of China for their investment in the Nigerian economy. I commend the CCECC Limited – the Contracting Firm, for the quality of work and timely delivery of this project.
“Let me place on record the Nigerian government’s appreciation to the Government of China and the EXIM Bank of China for their support on this and many other projects currently being executed in the country.
“This gesture further cements the already existing cordial relations and developmental partnership between Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China.‘’
He disclosed that the Abuja Rail Mass Transit Project was integrated into the Abuja Transportation Master Plan.
He added that the Abuja Rail Mass Transit System was planned to integrate with the National Rail Network when eventually completed.
“The Abuja rail is divided into Six (6) Lots and with total length of 290km. The lots are:
“Lot 1: From Nnamdi Azikwe Expressway through the Transportation Centre (Metro Station) via Gwagwa to Kubwa;
“Lot 2: From Gwagwa via Transportation Centre (Metro Station) to Nyanya/Karu;
“Lot 3: From Transportation Centre via Idu Industrial Zone to Nanmadi Azikwe International Airport;
“Lot 4:From Kuje Satellite town to Karshi Satellite town with the remaining legs of the Transit way line 2;
“Lot 5:From Kubwa via Bwari to Suleja and Lot 6:From Airport via Kuje and Gwagwalada to Dobi,’’ he explained.
The Minister disclosed that the projected is divided into phases and the first phase has just been commission by the president.
According to NAN, he said FCTA had concluded an infrastructure soft loan agreement with Exim Bank of China for the supply of the remaining coaches, including their maintenance for three years at a cost of 194 million dollars.
“We hope that the minister of Finance would consider putting this key project in the next borrowing plans, the minister of Budget and National Planning would agree to it, the National Assembly would approved it and that China – Exim Bank would fund it as a mark of goodwill for the cordial relationship between our two countries,’’ he said.
The President was guided on a tour of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit and Abuja new International Terminal at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The Abuja Rail Mass Transit is the first mass transit project in Nigeria as well as in West Africa.