The Federal Government has again approved the sum of 1.79 billion dollars for the contract of Phase 2 of Abuja Rail Mass Transit.
Recall that the first phase of the Abuja metro rail project Lot A 1 has reached 90% completion and would be ready to commence operation in April 2018.
According to reliable information from the media aide to the Permanent Secretary to the FCT, Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye, the Lot IB of the metro rail covers about 26.775km from Area 10, passing through Wuse market, Berger Junction; Jabi Motor Park through Life Camp, Gwagwa, up to Kubwa.
The ambitious project would gulp a whopping sum of $1.79 billion, which is to be captured in the 2017/2018 budget appropriation.
Also approved by the Federal Government is the upward review of the contract for provision of engineering infrastructure to Jahi District located in Phase 2 of the Federal Capital City (FCC) and award of for the construction of the Right Hand Service Carriageway of Outer Expressway (OSEX) Stage 3 from Ring Road 3 to Wasa Junction.
Residents, who spoke to The Abuja Times on the heels of the announcement, hailed FCT authorities for daring the odds which has led to the approval of the contract for Phase 2 of Abuja Rail Mass Transit Lot IB, provision of engineering infrastructure to Jahi district and the construction of the Right Hand Service Carriageway of Outer Southern Expressway (OSEX) Stage 3.
The Phase 2 of Abuja Rail Mass Transit is estimated to involve about 5,000 skilled and unskilled workers during construction stage, and another 4,000 skilled workers will be engaged in direct operation of the system on completion, aside other developmental and employment opportunities that would be generated along the Rail route.
The Abuja Rail Mass Transit System is an integral part of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Transportation Master Plan designed primarily to transport large number of commuters and goods between Satellite Towns into the Metropolitan Public Transport system and the different phases of the Federal Capital Territory (FCC).
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting recently, FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of Abuja Rail Mass Transit Project Lot IB had already been signed between the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and the Messes China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Nigeria Limited.
The Minister further disclosed that the project which is being funded by China Nexim Bank, requires that FCTA provides 15% of the cost of the project as counterpart funds.
The jubilant residents of the FCT maintained that the credit should be given to the present leadership of FCT Administration.
A resident of Apo, Barrister Jamilu Dayyabu, told The Abuja Times exclusively that the Minister and the Permanent Secretary deserve accolade for having the interest of the masses at heart.
Similarly, Deacon Samuel Anusi, a resident of Bwari Area Council, gave glowing commendation to both leading officials.
He said: ”The Minister and the Permanent Secretary should be celebrated for the human feelings they have for residents of the Territory. It takes people with selfless heart to come up and pursue projects of this nature.”
Paulinus Onwusor, a resident of Nyanya, was also full of praises for both personalities.
He said: ”From these projects which the Minister and the Permanent Secretary have marshaled out and ensured eventual approval by the Federal Executive Council, it shows clearly that they have the interest of the masses of the territory at heart. It also goes a long way to show that these leaders are genuinely concerned about the plight the masses of the territory face on daily basis.”
The Phase 2 of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit is the spin of the FCT Transportation Master Plan and the procurement of the Rolling Stock.
Already, there are provisions of N5, 603,429,090.00 and N11, 000,000,000.00 in the 2016 FCT National and FCT Statutory Budgets respectively. Provisions of N3, 797,122,872.00 and N30, 100,000,000.00 had also been made in the 2017 National and FCT Statutory Budget proposals respectively for the take- off of the project. The project has a completion period of 36 months.