Photo Caption
The Secretary for Transportation, Hon Charles Elechi (2nd left) FCT Minister, Barrister Nyesom Wike (3rd right) and senior officials of the FCTA and the CCECC during the Minister’s tour of the Abuja Metro line on Friday

Infinity Tyres

By Ignatius Ushie

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has assured that the Abuja Rail Mass Transit Scheme also known as the metro line will be inaugurated in May this year.

In a statement made available to Transport Day in Abuja, the FCT Minister gave the assurance in Abuja on Friday, when he carried out an inspection tour of the ongoing renovation and rehabilitation works on the Abuja metro line.

Barrister Wike said the rehabilitation exercise was about 97 percent complete and assured that it will be among the projects to be commissioned by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in May this year, to mark his one year in office.

Wike who rode on the train from the Abuja Metro station in the Central Business District to the Airport Train Station, where he observed the progress of work at the various train stations along the route, expressed satisfaction with the renovation and rehabilitation exercise.

According to him, the Abuja metro line was very important to developing the FCT’s economy, adding, “We are almost 97 percent. All the works are going on to make sure that May is a reality”.

Continuing, Barr Wike said, “I want to say that as of yesterday, Mr. President has approved the schedule for the commissioning of projects for his one year in office. This is a very important project. Those of us who rode on the metro line, you will see that it’s more convenient to use the metro line than even the vehicles to go to the airport.

“So, I’m really impressed with the contractor, CCECC. They have assured us that all the renovation works will be ready before the commissioning date.

“I believe this will be the first project that Mr. President will like to inaugurate because it’s very key to the development of the economy, particularly as the FCT is concerned.

“So, for me, it’s a dream come true and we are happy that after all is said and done, the metro line will be in use for Nigerians come May 2024”.

Speaking on the operational cost for the metro line, especially the training of personnel, the Minister disclosed that the FCTA has paid its contractual obligations to the contractors. He said though the cost was quite expensive, it was also important to ensure that there is a balance between saving cost and safeguarding the interest of the FCT.

On whether there were plans to provide rail services in densely populated parts of the FCT such as Nyanya, the Minister said the Abuja mass rail projects is being done in phases, due to the financial implications. He however assured that the issue would be considered as development efforts continue in the FCT.

Speaking further on efforts to improve road transportation in the FCT, the Minister reassured that three bus terminals would be constructed for dedicated routes in the FCT, adding that the FCT Administration will also roll out its transport system in order curtail criminalities and improve overall security in the nation’s capital.