Nigeria’s New Light Rail Officially Commences Operation

President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that the completion of the long-awaited Abuja light rail project is a dream come true as its accomplishment clearly demonstrates the administration’s commitment to addressing critical infrastructural projects. He stated this while commissioning the project Thursday, in Abuja.
While commending the Minister of FCT for the hard work and sense of purpose towards the realization of this long-awaited modern transportation system for both FCT residents and visitors, Buhari said transportation is the livewire of any city adding that he is very optimistic that a modern rail service would bring about a boost to the FCT economy and greatly enhance social life.
Buhari further commended the government and people of China for their investment in the Nigerian economy. “I also commend the CCECC Limited, 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.”
FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, said the Abuja Rail Mass Transit System is an integral part of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Transportation Master Plan designed primarily to transport large number of commuters and goods between satellite towns into the Metropolitan Public Transport System, and the different Phases of the Federal Capital City (FCC).

Bello further explained: “The Abuja rail is divided into six (6) Lots and with total length of 290 kilometres which includes: Lot 1:From Nnamdi Azikiwe 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 Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport; Lot 4: From Kuje Satellite town to Karshi Satellite town with the remaining legs of the Transitway line 2; Lot 5: From Kubwa via Bwari to Suleja, and Lot 6 from Airport via Kuje and Gwagwalada to Dobi. Implementation of the project has been divided into phases, with phase 1 being what we are commissioning today.”
“Both Lots connect at the Idu Station to enable easy passenger transfer with the National Rail line linking Kaduna and Abuja,” the minister said. While giving an in-depth explanation of the project cost, he added that about $823,540,545.87 was funded at 60% by the China-Exim Bank and 40% by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
Bello added that the scope of work includes 45.3km of double standard gauge rail tracks, a maintenance depot, training school, and operations control center. Also, there will be 12 stations, which include: Abuja Metro Station, Stadium Station, Kukwaba I (National Park Station), Kukwaba II (Ring Road Station), Wupa Station, Idu Station, Bassanjiwa Station, Airport Station, Gwagwa Station, Deidei Station, Kagini Station and Gbazango Station.
Bello also stated that the FCTA has also taken delivery of the three coaches meant for initial operations, while awaiting the arrival of the rolling stock of 48 coaches to this effect, which he said the FCTA has 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 US$194,008,602.43.

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