The planned resumption of Abuja’s metro rail mass transit services, may have been hit again by paucity of funds to complete the project.
Recall that the Abuja Light Rail project phase 1 was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018.
The rail mass transit designed to convey passengers from its Metro station, located at Wuye District to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, operated few months after the official commissioning, but abandoned for almost 4 years now.
Making the disclosure over the weekend, when the Senate Committee on FCT visited the project site, the Deputy Managing Director of a Chinese Firm handling the project, Mr. Jack Liwo said that apart from vandalism that has caused a huge set back to the project, unavailability of funds is another challenge.
Liwo who appealed to members of the Committee to facilitate release of funds for the prompt completion of the project and resumption of the rail services, noted that some of the stations, located at Abuja metro, Kukwaba 1, Kukwaba 11, Wupa, Idu, Bassanjiwa and the Airport have suffered serious vandalism.
Liwo stated that some of the vandalized rail equipment need to be imported and replaced for the project to be completed as expected.
While he assured that the Chinese Government will remain committed to its part of the agreement in providing the needed support, he also affirmed that once funds are made available, the rail services could commence within few months.
Reacting to the development, Chairman of the Committee who led other members to the site, Senate Smart Adeyemi decried the continued waste of public funds by abandoning such people-oriented projects.
Adeyemi who assured that the Senate would make frantic efforts to ensure that the rail services commence within the remaining few months of this present administration, also warned that accountability will be demaded from all relevant stakeholders managing the project.
According to him, while Nigerians deserve a commensurate value for every public funds disbursed, he also warned that every act of sabotage on the project will be sanctioned by National Assembly.