President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday July 12, officially commissioned the first phase of the Abuja Light Rail mass transit covering 12 stations within the metropolis.
President Buhari expressed delight at the opening of the light rail system. He said the completion of the project is a dream come true.
The President commended the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammed Bello, for his hard work and sense of purpose towards the realization of the project.
Buhari said: “This accomplishment clearly demonstrates our commitment to addressing critical infrastructural projects and keeping with the ideals of the Change Agenda to ensure prudence in the management of public resources, value for money considering the huge investments in this project.
“Transportation is the live wire of any city. I am very optimistic that a modern rail service would bring about a boost to the FCT economy and greatly enhance social life. I am aware that what we have on ground today are coaches meant to provide skeletal services as we await the main set of the rolling stock for full operations.
“I have been briefed on the outcome of the Hon. Ministers of F.C.T and Finance recent visit to China, during which the MOUs and agreements for the procurements of the main rolling stock were signed.
“May I therefore assure Nigerians of Federal Government’s continued support for all the negotiations towards the realization of the Abuja Light Rail system.
“Today, what we have in the Federal Capital Territory is another evidence that we are a government that delivers on its promises. I have observed keenly other milestones that this Administration has achieved, especially in the areas of education, public utilities and infrastructure development.
“I am thankful to the Government and people of China for their investment in the Nigerian economy. I commend the CCECC Limited – the Contracting Firm, for the quality of work and timely delivery of this project.
“Let me place on record the Nigerian government’s appreciation to the Government of China and the EXIM Bank of China for their support on this and many other projects currently being executed in the country. This gesture further cements the already existing cordial relations and developmental partnership between Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China.
“I would also like to thank our Nigerian Consultants, Messrs Transurb Technirail Consult Limited for their services.
“Let me conclude by urging the FCT Administration, especially, the management of the rail services, to ensure efficient operations, good customer service and maintenance culture in the operations punctuality of the rail.”
The Abuja Rail is the first Light Rail network in West Africa. The rail project has been in the works for over 11 years. It was inherited at 63% completion and the remaining 37% was fast-tracked to completion by this Administration.