Wike announces an eight-month deadline for the completion of the Abuja Light Rail.

On Wednesday, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, expressed concern over the status of the Abuja light rail and asked the permanent secretary to finalise payment to the Chinese concession business in order to finish rail restoration within eight months.

Wike issued the ultimatum while inspecting the Abuja Metro Station in Idu and the Airport Station on his first assignment outside the office, less than 48 hours after the 45 new ministers were sworn in.
He went on to say that the mission of rebuilding the Abuja metro has become critical as part of President Bola Tinubu’s vow to ease Nigerians’ suffering as soon as feasible.

Wike, joined by the Minister of State for FCT, Mairiga Mahmud, and other officials, addressed the contractors at the metro station’s main terminal, criticising the quality of work.
The FCT minister continued on his trip by taking the train from the metro station to the Idu Station and then to the Airport Station.

The rails, which were initially built in six stages, were financed using loans from the China EXIM Bank. After the essential train infrastructure was vandalised, the FCT Administration issued a new N5 billion contract in August 2023 for its reconstruction within 12 months.

The Abuja light rail, which was commissioned at the metro station, began for business in 2018 and ran for almost two years until being shut down due to vandalism.

Wike, the first southerner to be appointed FCT minister, aims to provide the President with a restored rail system for commissioning by April 2024.

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