The Federal Capital Territory Administration( FCTA) has so far spent N22.4 billion on the Abuja Mono Light Rail project, says Mr Jonathan Ivoke, the Secretary for Transportation.
Ivoke disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the Senior Staff Retreat of the secretariat on Saturday in Abuja.
The theme of the retreat is "Transportation in the FCT, Prospects, Challenges and Solutions."
Ivoke said that the Chinese Government was expected to provide 500 million dollars as a counterpart fund for the project awarded to Chinese Construction Company, CCECC, in 2007.
According to him, the project will be completed in 2015 as against the initial 2013 completion date as only 20 per cent of the work had so far been done.
"By 2015, there will be rail mass operation within the capital city," he promised.
He said that the secretariat had designated 500 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on different routes in a bid to provide efficient, effective and affordable environmentally friendly mass transit system.
In his address, the FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed, said that the rail system would ease movement of personnel, goods and services.
Mohammed, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Anthony Ozodinobi, said that the project, when completed, would launch Abuja into reckoning as one of the "global city brands."
"Early this year, we launched the FCT Operators' License Scheme and rolled out a fleet of over 400 buses as one of our palliatives, aimed at cushioning the effect of the partial removal of oil subsidy."
In her goodwill message, the FCT Minister of State, Ms Olajumoke Akinjide, commended the Transport Secretariat for its effort in translating the vision of the FCTA in area of public transportation into reality.
Akinjide who was represented by Mr Tukur Ibrahim, the Director, Satellite Town Development Agency, called for comprehensive re-orientation in "our ethics and values, including the re-engineering of the service delivery process of government." NAN