Abuja Light Rail Ready for Commercial Operations, Says FCT Minister Nyesom Wike

The Abuja Light Rail, also known as the Abuja Metro Line, is set to commence commercial operations, according to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Nyesom Wike. Following an inspection of the project in Abuja on Monday, Wike announced that the rehabilitation project, which cost $15 million (over N10 billion), is now complete.

Wike assured residents that the light rail will be inaugurated by President Bola Tinubu on May 27, signaling the fulfillment of a key promise made by the administration. “Thank God Almighty that we are good to go. We are ready, and you can see the facilities have been installed,” Wike declared.

Expressing his satisfaction, Wike noted, “We are happy; very very happy, and we thank God the promise President Tinubu made has been kept.” He emphasized that Tinubu had committed to delivering the metro line within his first year in office, and as a dedicated supporter, Wike felt compelled to ensure this promise was realized.

The operationalization of the metro line, Wike stated, is a testament to the “Renewed Hope” agenda of President Tinubu. He credited the project’s success to the unwavering support from the President, remarking, “We are doing well because Mr President has given us every necessary support. Assuming we are not getting support from him, this would not have been a reality today.”

However, Wike identified some facilities that were omitted during the project’s design phase, such as air conditioning in the passenger waiting rooms and elevators. He explained, “We are happy with the project. It is just that we identify one or two things that were omitted during the design. But we believe that during the full operation of the train, some of these things will be taken into consideration.”

Highlighting the need for improvements, he added, “Particularly, I believe that as a standard metro line, where the passengers will be waiting before boarding the trains, there should be air conditioners. I also thought that some of the stations should have had an elevator for those who are very old and those who may not have the strength to walk or climb the staircase.”

Despite these omissions, Wike assured that the absence of air conditioning and elevators would not impede the metro line’s operation but would enhance passenger comfort. Additionally, access roads have been constructed to link communities to the train stations, ensuring that residents can conveniently reach the metro line.

“The absence of access roads to the train station would negate the purpose of the metro line; otherwise, how will the people from the various communities access the stations?” Wike pointed out.

The Abuja Light Rail project was initially designed to address transportation challenges, including heavy traffic and congestion in the FCT and its surrounding areas. The commencement of operations is expected to significantly alleviate these issues, offering residents a reliable and efficient transportation alternative.

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