Buhari to Commission Abuja Light Rail Thursday


From Olawale Ajimotokan  in Abuja

President  Muhammadu Buhari will commission the completed Lots 1A and 3 of the Abuja Light Rail projecton Thursday, the FCTA announced Monday.

The commissioning would mark the formal commencement of rail service and the fulfilment of a long awaited dream for a modern state-of-the-art mass transit systems for the residents of the FCT.

The light rail is  considered the first rail in the country without a pedestrian crossing  in addition to 12 stations and 21 operational offices.

The lots 1A and 3 is a standard guage line covering 45.245 km. It will link 12 satellite towns in Abuja and interface with the national line at two points – Idu and Gwagwa – where there would be interchanges to join the Kaduna line.

The rail line will run between Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Terminal to the Abuja Metro Station.

The Abuja Light Rail project was initiated 11 years ago and was at  63 percent completion stage when the new administration took rein of power in 2015.

Meanwhile, the FCTA has also  solicited the partnership of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to ensure a hitch free operation of the light rail mass transit system.

In a meeting with officials of the NRC,  FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, stated that the administration would require the support, supervision and guidance of the regulators for a smooth take-off.

The minister, who disclosed that some skeletal staff had been employed to start some of the operations, added that the expertise and experience of NRC would be indispensable.

Responding, the General Manager of NRC, Fidet Ohiria, pledged the support of the corporation towards the successful running of the light rail through capacity building, personnel and certification.