Metro Line operation confirms reality of renewed hope agenda – Wike

Mr Nyesom Wike, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) says the coming into operation of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit (ARMT) system confirms the reality of President Bola Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda.

Wike stated this in Abuja on Wednesday, at the inauguration of the commercial operation of the ARMT by President Bola Tinubu.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the inauguration is part of the activities lined up to celebrate Tinubu’s one year in office.

‘What is renewed hope agenda? It is giving back hope to the people, so, it is a reality.

‘What we have seen today is a reality. People will now be happy that they can come to the city and go back using the train.

‘So, when we talk about renewed hope, it appears as if it is a mere talk; it is a reality.

‘I want to use Abuja to showcase that the renewed hope is real; it is working and is practical.

‘So, Mr President, this is part of a promise made and a promise fulfilled,’ he said.

The minister noted that ARMT, also known as Abuja Metro Lin
e, was inaugurated in 2017 but its operation was inhibited by several factors.

Wike recalled that the Metro Line rehabilitation contract was awarded at 30 million dollars in 2018.

He said that the fund was not released until Tinubu came into office and gave the directive in Sept. 2023, that he wants to ride on the Metro Line.

Wike said, following the directive, the Central Bank of Nigerian, Minister of Finance and Accountant General of the Federation made available the fund to the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd.

The Minister said he instructed the completion of the project within nine months and closely monitored the contractor to ensure prompt delivery.

He said access roads were also constructed to all the 12 train stations, including car parks at N21.4 billion.

‘As I speak to you today, all those roads have been completed for people to use to the various train stations.

‘What we are doing today is the inauguration of the commercial operation,’ he said.

On the smooth
operation of the train system, the minister said that the previous administration had awarded a contract for the training of manpower for 29 months at 128 million dollars.

Wike said he met with the contractor and was able to negotiate the cost of the manpower training from 128 million dollar to 75 million dollar, thereby saving the country a whopping 53 million dollar.

Earlier, Mr Chinedum Elechi, Mandate Secretary, Transportation Secretariat, FCT Administration disclosed that the ARMT project was awarded in 2007 and had a trial operation from Sept. 2018 to March 2020.

He said that COVID-19 pandemic affected the continuous trial operation, coupled with massive vandalism of key components, which halted the trial operation.

Elechi said that the ARMT system has 12 diesel multiple units each, with a capacity to accommodate a minimum of 700 passengers.

He added that each train was designed to run a minimum of 14 trips per day, and transport approximately 9,800 passengers per day.

‘The two Lots, that is Lot 1
A from Idu Station to Gbazango and Lot 3, from Metro Station to Airport, will operate two trains each simultaneously every day.

‘This brings a total daily passenger count to 39,200 commuters and 980,000 commuters in 25 operational days in a month,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria