As President Mohammadu Buhari kicks off the $8.2 million FCT light rail way project, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), yesterday said it has delivered its 40 per cent counterpart funding, just as the new Abuja Light Rail mass transit is poised to provide 100,000 direct or indirect jobs for the residents of FCT.
Secretary of the Transport Secretariat, Kayode Opeifa, who stated this while briefing journalists on the programme of event of the commissioning of the project by President Muhammadu Buhari today.
Comrade Opeifa revealed that the FCT was set to be an economic hub when the lots 1A and 3 is fully commissioned.
He said that Nigerians should first see the economic value of the project to be commissioned hence the opportunities within the rail corridors.
He said, “it is with the view that the FCT administration had abitio, seen the economic benefit and had paid its counterpart funding to ensure the project survives the test of time”.
The Secretary also posited that the project has provided some features which will ensure manpower development in the future.
One of the features include maintenance firm, rolling stock hall.
This, he noted, is to ensure that coaches are well maintained and kept safe after daily operation.
Recalled that the Abuja Rail mass transit system was in the original master plan for Abuja and conceived in 1977 and was intended to form the spine of the public transport system in FCT.
It was designed to move people within and between the satellite towns and the different phases of the city.
According to Opeifa, “The current project which covers Lots 1A and 3 covers a distance of 45.245km out of 292km (total distance of Lots 1 to 6) is about 16 per cent of the entire rail network in FCT.
The contract costs US$823,540,545.87, 45.245km of double track rail line.
“The lots 1A and 3 are 100 per cent completed as at July 2018 and the capacity 5,000 passengers per day and by 15th month, about 350,000 passengers would be conveyed along the 2 lines (lots 1A and 3) in the 12 stations.”