The prospect of a $50 million facility from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to finance the proposed Abuja Bus Rapid Transportation (BRT) system is brightening as the bank’s delegation is expected in Abuja in the first quarter of 2014 for another round of due diligence.
The visit is the outcome of the initial assessment conducted last November, and the second in the collaboration between the bank and the FCTA to evolve a modern mass transit system for the fast developing Federal Capital Territory.
Donald Kaberuka, the AfDB chairman told BusinessDay of the commitment of the bank, stating that the Abuja BRT project is one of the continent’s priorities.
“Yes, it is on the way and it is a project which I am very very interested in. If the team did not come, maybe it is some logistics issues. But we work with the government on that because it
tourismcould be one of the projects which could be interesting to Africa”.
He explained that the bank together with the FCTA will monitor the project when it finally comes on stream.
“Everything that we are doing is in collaboration with government and
Nigerian financial institutions because this project is in Nigeria and for the Nigerian people”.
“So we will work very closely with them because it was FCTA’s idea. As the city of Abuja grows, there will be need for a more modern mass transit system because in modern cities, you cannot simply depend on cars. So I salute what they are trying to do”.
Wilson Unogwu, the director of BRT, FCT Transport Secretariat, told BusinessDay that the team when it comes, will look at the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would be signed with the contiguous states and also the compensation plan for people that will be affected along the BRT corridor.
“Having qualified for the loan from the bank, there are other processes that we ought to fulfill such as having a proper resettlement plan for those along the BRT corridor after which we would sign Memorandum of
Understanding with the contiguous states that the BRT passes through like the Nassarawa State”.
Jonathan Ivoke, the transport secretary, FCT, prior to the November visit had told BusinessDay that the secretariat had accessed $960, 000 from the Clean Technology Fund following the application in 2010.
“So far we had accessed the sum of $960 000 which was given to us to enable us conduct some studies that are fundamental and would enable us gain the full access to the Clean Technology Fund. That is the first procedure in accessing the fund and we had set up a project office in line with the steps they had outlaid”.
ONYINYE NWACHUKWU & HARRISON EDEH, Abuja