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“Wike Sets Eight-Month Deadline for Abuja Light Rail Project Completion”

August 23, 2023

Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike, expressed strong dissatisfaction with the state of disrepair of the Abuja light rail on Wednesday. He directed the permanent secretary to expedite payment to the Chinese concession company in order to complete the rehabilitation of the rail network within a span of eight months.

Wike’s firm directive came during his inspection of the Abuja Metro Station in Idu as well as the Airport Station. This marked his inaugural assignment outside his office, occurring less than 48 hours after the swearing-in of the 45 new ministers.

Highlighting the importance of restoring the Abuja metro, Wike emphasized its significance in President Bola Tinubu’s promise to alleviate the hardships faced by Nigerians swiftly.

Accompanied by FCT Minister of State, Mairiga Mahmud, and other officials, Wike addressed contractors at the main terminal of the metro station, raising concerns about the quality of work.

Continuing his tour, the FCT minister rode the train from the metro station, traversing through the Idu Station and eventually reaching the Airport Station.

Originally established in six phases with financial support from China EXIM Bank, the rail system faced vandalism that led to its deterioration. Subsequently, the FCT Administration awarded a new contract valued at N5 billion in August 2023 to rehabilitate the rail system within a year.

The Abuja light rail commenced operations at the metro station in 2018 and successfully operated for approximately two years before encountering challenges due to vandalism.

As the first southerner to hold the position of FCT minister, Wike aspires to present a fully rehabilitated rail system to the President for inauguration by April 2024.

Source: Channels TV



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