There is no building in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is sacrosanct or insulated from demolition, when it is in the conflict with overriding public interest, FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has declared.
This is coming against the backdrop of the existence of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega filling station and a mega plaza as well as the Eagle square, which are currently standing on the main corridors of the ongoing Abuja Light rail project which has December 2015, as its completion deadline.
The minister made the point yesterday in Abuja, after signing an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria and partners, on addendum II to the ongoing Abuja light rail project (the final design and construction of lot 1B of the project).
Accordingly, the minister noted that the NNPC authority and other illegal occupants with structures on the right of way of the rail project have already been notified and are aware of this fact, noting that for the NNPC, alternative plots have been allocated to the NNPC at Lokogoma and the Kubwa Express way.
“The eagle square is temporary, and we have provided some areas, by the time the city is fully developed that place will go, you can see it the whole structure is built in a manner that it can be easily removed.
“I assure you, the mega station will not be there. No building is sacrosanct that is above been removed for overriding public interest,” he stressed.
However on the rail project, the minister reiterated that the administration and its partners are pushing the light rail to a logical conclusion so that we can have a vibrant transportation, hence the signing is an agreement on addendum to the existing project going on.
He disclosed that the Lot 1B is projected to gulp the sum of 792 million US Dollars, although the process has not been completed because it has to go to the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) for vetting as well as the Federal Executive Council.
He said the lot 1b, which is a continuation of the total rail project for which the federal government had earlier took a loan of $500m from the Chinese government to facilitate the completion of the project.
He added that the lot 1b will stretch from Area 3 through Wuse zone 3 through Utako, through Jabi, Gwarinpa, Karmo and Kubwa axis.
Earlier, giving a brief of the rail projecty, Secretary, FCT Transportation Secretariat, Engr. Ivoke Jonathan, said the signing is to officially flag off the segment 2 of the Abuja light rail and to also agree in principle for development of the part of Lot 1b.
According to him, lot 1 and 3 has progressed to 60 percent completion.
Responding on behalf of the partners, CCECC Chairman, Sao Baogang, assured of commitment to ensure that the part of the project spanning through the Central Business District – Idu Industrial Zone – Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and Kubwa will be completed and handed over by October 2015.