By: Prudence Okonna, Sunday Shekwonya & Daniel Achiniru
To ease transportation challenges in the FCT and cushion the effects of the recent fuel subsidy removal, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has flagged off the rehabilitation of the Abuja Mass Rail Transit system.
Conducting the flag-off exercise in Abuja on Friday at the Airport Train Station in the Central Business District, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, disclosed that the rehabilitation process will involve the repair and replacement of damaged equipment, upgrading of facilities, and implementation of modern security measures to protect the system against future threats.
The Permanent Secretary who explained that the rehabilitation work is being done to repair the damages done to the essential components of the mass rail system by vandals, vowed that the FCT Administration will leave no stone unturned in restoring the landmark Abuja Light Rail System to its former glory.
He also assured that the rehabilitation process will be expedited without compromising on quality, adding that the FCT will soon witness the return of a more efficient and reliable transportation system.
According to him, the Abuja light rail system was temporarily shut down in 2020 at the peak of the COVID-19 Pandemic to protect Nigerians against the disease but unfortunately, some criminal elements used the period of inactivity to vandalize vital components of the system.
To prevent a reoccurrence therefore, he said contracts have been awarded for the provision of security for the Abuja Mass rail system as part of stringent measures to safeguard this valuable asset.
The Permanent Secretary said, “The revitalization of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit System is not just about repairing physical infrastructure; it is a testament to the resilience of our city and its people. It showcases our determination to overcome challenges and our unwavering commitment to the welfare of our citizens. It is a demonstration of our government’s dedication to creating an enabling environment for economic growth and social well-being.”
While thanking residents of the FCT for their patience and understanding, the Permanent Secretary called for vigilance in the protection of public assets. He said the Abuja light rail system is a vital resource that belongs to everybody and as such requires collective efforts to safeguard the system from vandalism.
Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director of the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company, CCECC, Wang Xixue explained that the project will rehabilitate vandalized components of the Lot 1A and Lot 3 of the Abuja Mass Rail System, clear obstacles and pave way for the resumption of commercial operations.
Mr. Zhinchen, while thanking the FCT Permanent Secretary for his unwavering support, said the CCECC will continue to maintain close cooperation with relevant stakeholders to contribute to the development of advanced public railway transport system.