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Lack of funds threatens resumption of Abuja rail

The planned resumption of Abuja’s metro rail services might have been hit again due to lack of funds. City & Crime reports that phase one…

The planned resumption of Abuja’s metro rail services might have been hit again due to lack of funds.

City & Crime reports that phase one of the project was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018.

The rail, designed to convey passengers from Abuja’s metro station in Wuye District to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, operated for a few months and stopped.

The FCT Minister, Malam Mohammed Musa Bello, earlier this month visited the Chinese firm handling the project and assured that the rail services would resume soon.

But when the Senate Committee on FCT visited the project’s site at the weekend, the Deputy Managing Director of the Chinese firm, Mr Jack Liwo, said that apart from vandalism that had caused a huge setback to the project, unavailability of funds was a big challenge.

Liwo, who appealed to members of the committee to facilitate the release of funds for the prompt completion of the project and resumption of the rail services, noted that the stations at Abuja metro, Kukwaba I, Kukwaba II, Wupa, Idu, Bassanjiwa and the airport had suffered vandalism.

While assuring that the Chinese government would remain committed to its part of the agreement in providing the needed support, he promised that once funds were made available the rail services would commence within a few months.

Reacting to the development, Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT, Smart Adeyemi, assured that the senate would make efforts to ensure that the rail services commenced within the remaining few months of the present administration, but warned that accountability would be demanded from stakeholders managing the project.