The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Friday, announced the award of N5 billion contract for the rehabilitation of Abuja Rail Mass Transit (ARMT) System.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project would be executed by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd (CCECC) within 12 months.
Mr Olusade Adesola, Permanent Secretary FCTA said the aim was to restore the vital rail transportation infrastructure, which he described as the “life blood of Abuja city”.
According to him, the Abuja light rail will play a crucial role in easing transportation challenges and enhancing mobility for residents.
He explained that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the temporary shutdown of the rail system as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus.
Adesola added that during the period of inactivity, hoodlums vandalised essential equipment of the rail system, which was a “serious setback”.
The permanent secretary said that contracts for the provision of security for the ARMT System have been awarded.
“We are taking stringent measures to safeguard this valuable asset.
“We will not allow the actions of a few vandals to undermine the progress and potential of this essential public service.
“We will leave no stone unturned in restoring the Abuja Light Rail System to its former glory and ensuring it surpasses its previous performance,” he said.
Adesola explained that the rehabilitation would involve the repair and replacement of damaged equipment, upgrading of facilities, and implementing modern security measures to protect against future threats.
He assured residents that the process would be expedited without compromising quality.
“We will soon witness the return of a more efficient and reliable transportation system.
“This is because revitalisation of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit System is not just about repairing physical infrastructure; it is a testament to the resilience of our city and its people.
“It showcases our determination to overcome challenges and our unwavering commitment to the welfare of our citizens.
“It is a demonstration of our government’s dedication to creating an enabling environment for economic growth and social well-being,” Adesola added.
The Director of Transportation, FCTA, Mr Joseph Akinteye, explained that the project consists Lots 1 A and 3, which span 45.245 kilometres.
Akinteye said that initial ARMT system was 77.775 km but only 45.245 km was completed in 2017, commissioned in 2018, and followed by a trial operation service which lasted for 20 months.
“Unfortunately, the trial service ended abruptly in March 2020, due to the advent of COVID- 19 pandemic and its extent protocols,” he said.
He said that the rehabilitation, when completed, would bring back the Metro Line services.
According to him, the ripple impacts would be an immense relief to the present unpleasant effects of the fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians, especially FCT residents.
The Managing Director, CCECC, Mr Wang Xixue, said that the rehabilitation of the vandalised components of the ARMT system was critical to the development of the transportation system in the FCTA.
He pledged that the rehabilitation would be completed in 12 months.
“As a socially responsible company, we are concerned about the development of the public transport system in FCTA and within Nigeria.
“We will maintain close cooperation with relevant stakeholders, to contribute to the development of an advanced public railway transport system.,” he said. (NAN)