Transportation

Shortage of Funds Threaten Planned Resumption of Abuja Rail Services

Shortage of funds may have delayed the completion and planned resumption of Abuja mass transit rail services.

The Deputy Managing Director of a Chinese Firm handling the project, Mr. Jack Liwo, echoed this concern over the weekend, when the Senate Committee on FCT visited the project site.

He said beside vandalism that had caused huge set back to the project, unavailability of funds was another challenge.

The Abuja Light Rail project phase 1 was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018.

The project which straddles Wuye District and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, operated for few months before it was abandoned during COVID-19 pandemic.

Liwo urged members of the Committee to facilitate release of funds for the prompt completion of the project and resumption of the rail services.

He noted that some of the stations, located at Abuja Metro, Kukwaba l, Kukwaba ll, Wupa, Idu, Bassanjiwa and the Airport had suffered serious vandalism.

According to him some of the vandalised rail equipment need to be imported and replaced for the project to be completed as expected.

Liwo assured of the commitment of the Chinese government to its part of the agreement in providing the needed support.

He affirmed that the rail services would resume operation within few months once funds are provided.

Reacting to the development, the 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.

He assured that the Senate would make frantic efforts to ensure that the rail services commence within the remaining few months of this present administration.

He also warned that accountability would be demanded from all relevant stakeholders managing the project.

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