President Muhammadu Buhari is to commission the recently completed
first phase of the Abuja Light Rail Project on Thursday, this week.
Buhari is also expected to flag-off the railway services, signaling the commencement of operations of the long-awaited rail services in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
A statement signed by the chief press secretary to the FCT minister, Cosmas Uzodinma, which was made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday stated that the event would take place in the Abuja Metro Station, in the Central Business District, the flagship of the 12 completed railway stations under this package.
The first phase of the project, which comprises Lots 1A and 3, with 45.245km of standard guage rail line, which runs from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to the Abuja Metro Station, is only an integral part of the six Lots, which form the scope of the railway system.
The project, which was completed by the present administration, has been in the works for over 11 years and was inherited at 63 percent completion, while the remaining 37 percent was fast-tracked to completion within the two years of the administration.
Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has solicited the partnership with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to ensure a hitch-free operation of the Abuja rail mass transit system.
In a meeting with officials of the corporation, FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello stated that the administration would require the support, supervision and guidance of the regulators for a smooth take-off.
Bello, who disclosed that some skeletal staff have already been employed to start some of the operations, adding that the expertise and experience of NRC would also be indispensable.
Responding the general manager of NRC, Engr. Fidet Ohiria pledged the support of the corporation towards the successful operations of the Abuja Light Rail Projects.
These, he said, would include capacity building, personnel and certification, adding that although the law permits states to run railways, the NRC is willing to support the efforts by ensuring the needed support and effective regulation of the industry.
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