Nyesom Wike, minister of the Federal Capital Territory, on Wednesday said his administration will immediately begin work to get the abandoned Abuja light rail system working in few months time.
The minister said this when he inspected the rail and the rail stations; he also deplored the state of the infrastructure.
Former President Muhammadu Buhari had commissioned the Rail Mass Transit in July 2018, but the project which was originally conceived to resolve the recurring transportation challenges in the FCT and its adjoining towns and cities, has not functioned since then.
The rail project was also expected to generate revenue for Nigeria’s government, but has not.
The minister noted that the project will reduce traffic in the city and ease cost of transportation especially with the removal of the fuel subsidy. He said transportation is among his short term deliverables.
Wike also said funds will be made available to the contractors, and focus will be on completing routes connecting high traffic areas such as Maraba/nyanya/Karu axis, among others.
The minister also denied plans to demolish 6,000 illegal structures. Wike, had in his inaugural address said he would demolish illegal structures to restore Abuja to its original master plan, it was reported that he has already mapped out 6,000 building; the situation has since thrown residents into panic and anxiety.
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“I never said that, all I said is that if there are any illegal structures or those distorting the master plan”, Wike said.
Earlier, Olusade Adesola, the Permanent Secretary of the FCT said the rail system could not work for years because the infrastructure suffered massive vandalization. This is also because the fence surrounding the facility is yet to be completed.
The Permanent Secretary assured that the FCT administration will speed up work on the project, put in all the necessary infrastructure and expand to more routes within the shortest time possible, in order to alleviate the plight of residents.
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