Six years after flag-off, Abuja rail project 20 per cent complete

Bala Mohammed, FCT Minister

The Abuja light rail project, started in 2006 and expected to be completed next year, is only 20 per cent completeMr Mohammed, the minster in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, said this on Friday while signing a contracts with the Chinese CCECC to expand the project.

The. Abuja rail project was initiated in 2006 with a $500 million credit from the Chinese Nexim Bank and other funding from the Federal Government and the FCT Administration.

The project did not kick off until 2009, “due to lack of funds,” the minister said.

The FCT minister said the project will finished on schedule, for a postponed inauguration date of 2015.

The project was earlier scheduled for completion in 2013.

The minister said about N22 billion had so far been expended on the project.

The addendum and variation of scope of contract agreement signed with the Chinese contractors was for lot 1A and three.

“The project has been reviewed to include flyovers, bridges and under passes with a variation of scope which has increased the entire work from 60.67 kilometres to 77.78 kilometres,” the minister said.

He said the FCTA had been able to fast track the process by getting the Bureau for Public Procurement certificate of no objection as well as the nod of the Federal Executive Council.

Mr. Mohammed noted that the project had been phased to enable the administration put the train and coaches on the rail tracks before May 2015.

Cao Gang, the Managing Director of CCECC Nigeria Ltd., promised to complete the project within the 36-month time frame.

He assured the minister that his company would train Nigerian workers to take over and manage the project when completed.

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