For the umpteenth time, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), says the long awaiting FCT light rail is yet to be commission due to some sundry issues, which include the non completion of the rail terminal at Nnamdi Azikwe Airport road, in Abuja.
But, this time around, it was Secretary for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, who gave the reason for the lingering delay take off of the project in Abuja, while briefing journalists on the stage of work and likely when the project would be commission for public use.
Opeifa added that necessary arrangements are being put in place to ensure the completion of the project which is already ninety nine percent completed.
The Secretary said the 45 kilometre stretch rail is ready, with twenty one buildings, sixty convents and thirteen bridges are all ready.
According to him, the Administration is on course in its commitment to deliver on the FCT Light Rail project, saying that the light rail will soon be ready for use.
While commenting on the delivery of three coaches meant for the trial operations of the railway services, Opeifa commended the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello for the passion and energy he invested in driving the project to success story.
The Secretary noted that the coached has the capacity to move between three hundred to five hundred people on one direction at a time.
He stressed that the Abuja light rail when commissioned for use public consumption might not be cheap but would help on the social economic development along the rail corridor.
The Secretary hinted that it would also reduce traffic gridlock, provide employment opportunity and boost the internally generated revenue profile in the FCT.
He said: “These are all technical requirements in rail transportation projects and are in compliance with international due diligence and professional standards.
“The rail services on full operation would convey between 120,000 and 200,000 passengers daily in the 20 coaches planned in the loop.”
Furthermore, Opeifa reiterated that work on Phase 2 of the Abuja Light Rail Project which begins at Gwagwa and ends in Area 1 will be completed this year. This, he said is because the first phase of the project is as good as “a done deal.”
He equally revealed that the rail lines, would pass from Gwagwa across Jabi, Gwarimpa, Utako, Wuse Hospital and Garki before ending at the Area 1 Park, located behind the former FCT NYSC Secretariat.
He disclosed that the Phase 2 rolling stock would run on Electric Motor Units (EMUs) unlike the present rolling stocks which run on diesel.
With this development, the Secretary pointed out that it would make it the most modern in West Africa and would bring about a major relief to the transportation needs and economic potentials of the FCT.