FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed
By Senator Iroegbu and Adedayo Akinwale
Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has disclosed that it has paid N22.4 billion for the Abuja Mono-light Rail Project to ease the problem of transportation being faced by the FCT residents.
This was disclosed Saturday at the 2012 Senior Staff Retreat of FCT Transportation Secretariat with the theme “Transportation in The FCT: prospects, Challenges and Solutions”.
While declaring the retreat open, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary FCTA, Engr. Anthony Ozodinobi, said that efforts of the Transport Secretariat will help achieve the development targets of the Administration including the Mono-Rail Project.
Mohammed said: "In order to fulfil the vision for building a capital city that will be among the top 20 capital cities in the world by year 2020, and that, if this goal is to be achieved, there is need to build a transportation system that is in conformity with global best practice.
“On assumption of office, I was confronted with challenges with endemic traffic congestion, inadequate transportation infrastructure and service, as well as failing environmental orderliness.
“In order to arrest the declining transport fortunes of the city, this Administration took up the task of building an efficient, affordable and modern transport system under our greater Abuja transportation policy to ensure effective and seamless movement of personnel, goods and service in the FCT.”
According to the minister, the project is being done through a deliberate policy of fast-tracking development of on-going infrastructural projects and ensuring their realisation in stipulated time, adding that government alone cannot deliver on these promises without effective private sector participation.
He said that both the Federal government and FCTA are committed to ensuring tax exemption to private investors, structuring appropriate feeder route services and allotting of dedicated lanes to them.
In the same vein, the Minster of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide represented by Director, Satellite Town Development Agency, Alhaji Tukur Ibrahim, commended the Transport Secretariat for its efforts in translating the vision of the present FCT administration in the area of public transport into reality.
“The overriding goal of the FCTA transport policy is to achieve a modern transport system, using high quality environmentally friendly carriages, operating at exclusive lanes, involving less travel time, at reasonable cost to users and yet profitable to the operators,” Akinjide said.
Earlier, the FCTA Secretary for Transportation, Engr. Jonathan Achara noted that the theme of the retreat explains the resolve and determination of the secretariat towards the realisation of the transportation mandate that will enable economic growth in the FCT.
Achara said that the project, which was initially scheduled to be completed by 2013, will now be completed by 2015.
He revealed that about 500 BRT buses that will be designated various routes in the FCT are in line with the mandate of the transport secretariat to provide “efficient, effective and affordable environmental friendly mass transit devoid of parking hindrance in accordance with the transportation master plan”.