Wike laments abandoned $824m Abuja metro rail project, clarifies vehicle controversy
Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has expressed disquiet with the halted Abuja Rail Mass Transit project.
The ambitious metro rail project, commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018, aimed to alleviate transportation issues in Abuja and surrounding areas.
However, it has been left incomplete, allowing vandals to exploit its unused tracks. This article delves into the project’s challenges, its envisioned benefits, and Minister Wike’s response to controversies surrounding his official vehicle.
The Unfulfilled Promise of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit Project
The Abuja Rail Mass Transit project was envisioned as a solution to the persistent transportation woes faced by the capital city and neighboring towns.
The ambitious project, estimated at $824 million, was proposed to cover a vast 290km area, developed in six phases. With a plan to secure 60% of funding through loans from the Exim Bank of China, the project aimed to provide efficient and modern transportation to citizens.
Early Hopes and Subsequent Abandonment
Following its inauguration by President Buhari on July 12, 2018, the metro rail commenced operations the following week.
However, its utilization was limited to a section between the Abuja Metro Station in the Central Business District and the airport, including an intermediate stop at Idu. Regrettably, this seemingly promising venture soon folded, failing to bring value to citizens eagerly anticipating a transformative transportation system.
Wike’s Vision for Improved Public Transportation
Wike’s recent visit to the Abuja Metro Station signifies his commitment to address the deficiencies within the public transportation sector in the FCT.
He acknowledges the defunct state of the metro station and challenges stakeholders to collaborate in reviving the abandoned rail system. Minister Wike emphasizes his intention to transform the transportation landscape, making it more efficient and accessible for the populace.
In the midst of the rail project disappointment, Minister Wike also addresses allegations surrounding his acquisition of a N300 million armoured Lexus LX 600 vehicle shortly after assuming office. Denying these claims as fabrications, he invites journalists to inspect the vehicle personally to confirm its specifications. He maintains that the vehicle in question is not bulletproof and criticizes the spread of misinformation through social media platforms.
Setting the Record Straight
Wike takes the opportunity to clarify the nature of the vehicle assigned to his office. He asserts that the Permanent Secretary of the FCTA provided the vehicle, and he emphasizes that he has neither approved nor used any official bulletproof car. While acknowledging his possession of cars during his tenure as governor, he underscores that he does not use bulletproof vehicles in his capacity as the FCT Minister.
The stalled Abuja Rail Mass Transit project stands as a stark reminder of the challenges in realizing ambitious infrastructure endeavors.
“Wike’s disappointment with the project’s failure highlights the need for coordinated efforts to transform public transportation in the capital city.
“Additionally, his response to the controversial vehicle acquisition sheds light on the importance of accurate reporting and responsible social media usage.
“As Sbuja’s residents await improved transportation, the government’s commitment and actions remain central to delivering meaningful change,” a resident of Abuja Clemson Raki said.
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