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Abuja Rail Mass Transit project 95% completed – Wike

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The Abuja Rail Mass Transit (ARMT) project is 95% finished, according to Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Mr. Nyesom Wike, and would be ready for inauguration in May.

Wike stated this when the Belgium Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Daniel Bertrand, visited him in Abuja on Wednesday.

The minister explained that the feat was part of efforts to improve public transportation in the federal capital, Abuja.

“When we came on board, we found out that the Abuja Light Rail was not functional, and we felt that it would be a good thing for the people if we decongest the city by making it function.

“So, President Bola Tinubu directed that whatever can be done, should be done, so that in his one year in office, the light rail will come on board for the use of the residents.

“The people can use it going out of the city, going to the airport and other area councils, and instead of going with their vehicles, they can take the train.

“I can announce to you that we are almost there. The company handling the project, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), is almost 95 per cent complete.

“By the grace of God, we believe that in May, Mr President will inaugurate it,” the minister said.

Wike added that a discussion was ongoing with private investors to change the mode of public transportation in the FCT.

He acknowledged that the deficit in public transportation constituted a security challenge in the city, adding that most of the operators were not registered.

He expressed concern that most residents did not know the vehicle they were boarding, adding that efforts were ongoing to ensure all public transport operators were registered.

The minister added that the government had concluded plans to build taxi and bus terminals where residents could patronise registered and identified operators.

He further said that the construction of the terminals would commence in the next month, with the approval of the Bureau of Public Procurement.

The minister also said that discussion was ongoing with the Inspector General of Police, the Director-General, Department of State Services, and cattle herders on ways to stop open grazing in the city.

He explained that the discussion was to get the herders to understand why they should not rear cattle within the city.

“I can tell you that it is not what we want, but believing that the matter will be resolved and alternative will be provided for the herders to rear their cattle,” he said.

Wike also sought partnerships with the Belgian government on security and agriculture.

Earlier, the Ambassador said that the visit was to get to know the minister’s plans for mass public transportation, update on the Abuja Light Rail project, and stand on open grazing in the city.

Bertrand expressed satisfaction with developments in the FCT, particularly the green vegetation and trees as well as less traffic.

He said that the Belgian government was open to partnerships in areas of mutual benefit.

(NAN)

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