Nigeria: Abuja Light Rail Ready for Commissioning - Wike

Mr Wike expressed satisfaction with the quality of work and the facilities at the train stations.

The Abuja Light Rail System is set to be inaugurated by President Bola Tinubu for commercial operations, as part of his administration's first-anniversary celebrations.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, announced this on Monday during an inspection at the Abuja Metro Station in the Central Business District.

He inspected the facilities and travelled on the train, making stops at the Stadium, Idu, and Airport stations along the route.

He expressed satisfaction with the quality of work and the facilities at the train stations and stated that the project was ready for inauguration for commercial operation by President Tinubu, fulfilling a presidential promise.

"In a few days, the president will inaugurate the commercial operation of this Metro line. We have to thank God Almighty that we are good to go. We are ready, and you can see the facilities. So, we are very happy, and we thank God the promise Mr President made has been kept," he said.

The minister also said that access roads to the train stations had also been completed, allowing residents from various communities to drive to any of the stations and board the train to their destinations.

Addressing design omissions

Mr Wike also said some facilities omitted during the project's design, including escalators and lifts for the sick and elderly, as well as air-cooling systems in the waiting areas, would be addressed in due course.

He assured that these omissions would not hinder the operation.

"We have been able to identify one or two things that were omitted during the design, and we believe that during the operation, some of those things will be taken into consideration. Particularly, I believe that as a standard metro line, where passengers will be waiting to board the trains, there should be air conditioners."

"I also thought that some of the stations should have had escalators and lifts for the elderly and those who may not have the strength to climb the staircases."

"Apart from that, I think we are happy with the work that has been done, and we believe Nigerians will be happy, particularly the residents of the FCT," he said.

Mr Wike attributed the achievements by the FCT Administration to the support of President Tinubu, thanking him for his backing.

"Assuming we were not getting his support, this wouldn't have been a reality. So, we want to thank him for the support," he said.

Financial savings in training costs

Speaking further on the project's funding details, Mr Wike said that the FCT Administration had renegotiated the training cost for personnel from $128 million to $75 million, thereby saving about $53 million for the federal government.

"Before we came, the former administration approved $128 million for the training of our people by CCECC for 29 months, and we said no, that's very exorbitant. We renegotiated with CCECC, and now it has been brought down to $75 million. We have saved no less than $53 million for the government," he said.

The Abuja Rail Mass Transit scheme consists of eight stations:, namely Abuja Metro, Stadium, Kukwaba I, Kukwaba II, Wupa, Idu, Basanjiwa, and Airport stations.

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.