17 July 2018

Nigeria: The Many Benefits of Abuja Light Rail Project

The 45km Abuja Metro Line is due for commissioning in the federal capital city of Abuja. The project which is one of the numerous unfinished projects of the past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is said to have gulped a tidy sum of about $842million.

The project being adjudged as the first in the country is also functioning light rail project in the West African sub-region. The completion of the project marks a major feat in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari who had promised to understudy and complete all abandoned and unfinished projects of the preceding administration with a notion of prioritising and completing them as far as they are people oriented.

Mr. President has shown his political sagacity as an astute administrator and leader of men and resources who feels for the people. Mr. President and the FCT Minister know that one does not need any special tutorial to understand the suffering of the masses at rush or peak hours. The entire world economy is hinged on transportation, little wonder that a hike in transportation sub sector would amount to a rise in inflation level. The ease with which one goes to his or her places of work greatly affects productivity positively and consequently, a harsh means or mode of transport to a place of work would equally result in negative productivity.

The minister Mohammed Bello in his usual style has ensured that all payments as agreed with contracting firms were promptly released. Mr. President not leaving anything to chance has often paid unsheduled visits to project sites to ensure that things are done to specifications. I doff my hat for Mr. President who has not played politics with such a collosal amount of tax payers' money but has rather ensured that every kobo spent is to the benefit of the people. The minister, Mohammed Bello must be commended for his steadfastness and personal supervision of the project to ensure that the directive of the President on its timely completion is obeyed and complied with. This can-do-spirit should be extended to other projects so that the change mantra can be actualised. The Chinese Construction company responsible for the project has done well. The high level of concentration with which they have worked shows that they can still be awarded more major contracts like this in the country. China as a country has shown their concern for the development of our country. They came into the country in their numbers. we shall have no cause to regret their stay in so far as the symbiosis is sustained. The symbiosis is we pay for projects and the same projects are executed to specifications and within time frame. Some other companies would collude with certain top ranking officials and defraud the government by abandoning the project, or by demanding for silly contract review, even though nothing tangible would be on the ground to show for the initial mobilisation to site. It is my feeling that the rapport created by the fct minister with the construction company is a magic wand that needs to be taught to other supervising ministry and Agencies. The benefits of this rail project cannot be overemphasized. Of course the initiating governments saw the quantum of benefits before embarking on the project which has legislative backing and approval.

The 45km track is said to have 12 stations all through, and what that means is that passengers would not need to jampack themselves in one particular venue in wait as is seen in A.Y.A. and Nyanya areas waiting for means of moving to their places of work. Another benefit of these numerous waiting points is that the usual pick pocketing from passengers would be drastically reduced if not completely eliminated. If one is not in a hurry, he/she would be able to observe anything that happens around him/her. One fundamental benefit is the relative cheapness in the price pf the rail transport in comparative terms with the road transport.

All over the world, the rail transport is cheaper than road and that of Abuja cannot be an exception. With the completion of this project, employers of labour in and around Abuja should begin to enjoy maximum productivity as far as human resources is concerned from their employees who hitherto would complain of traffic jam as a reason for lateness to work. sub sector If the revenue accruing is embezzled by a few persons, the project shall collapse in no distant time.

-Musa sent this piece from Abuja

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