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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Commuters to enjoy free train travel on Abuja metro line until the end of the year

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President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday announced that Nigerians and other travelers would enjoy free train travel on the Abuja metro line until the end of the year.

The President made this statement while flagging the relaunch of commercial operations on the Abuja Light Rail.

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“Our dear owner, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), I heard him say that there will be free train travel for two months. I want to ask you to make it until the end of the year. Let’s give the people reasons to celebrate,” the president said before embarking on a 40-minute trip from the subway station to the airport station.

President Bola Tinubu during the commencement of the relaunch of commercial operations on the Abuja Light Rail.

He described the operations on the Abuja metro line as a symbolic milestone of lasting progress as a country and in the FCT.

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“As we gather to commemorate the first anniversary of my administration, we also celebrate the fruits of collaboration, dedication, progress and foresight.

“My administration inherited the Abuja Metro from my predecessor. It was first commissioned in 2018 for public use, but it was not. COVID-19 hit. The train service was abandoned, vandalized, disused and abused.

“When we took office, as part of my desire to have a functioning and flourishing FCT with public infrastructure and efficient transportation systems that serve the people living and working within the city and surrounding communities, I made a public request and challenge Minister Nyesom Wike.

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“At the time I didn’t know he would be able to deliver this project on time. I told him: ‘Don’t give me land, Mr. Landlord.’ He gave me the assurance that I will be able to travel on the subway line and I am very proud that today they have fulfilled that promise,” said the president.

President Tinubu highlighted the importance of transportation in providing hope to the people and commended the completion of access roads to the various train stations.

President Bola Tinubu during the commencement of the relaunch of commercial operations on the Abuja Light Rail.

“Transportation provides hope and access to diverse people and organizations. The access roads to the different stations have already been made and today we are proud to say that they are truly serving the nation,” said the president.

President Tinubu, who described service to the nation as a critical element of the “new national anthem” adopted and signed into law on Wednesday, urged Nigerians to remain dedicated to the service of the nation.

Referring to the Abuja Metro line as a symbol of unity and greater accessibility, President Tinubu reiterated his administration’s commitment to deliver on its promises.

“What we have in the FCT is further proof that we are a government that keeps its promises,” the president said.

President Bola Tinubu during the commencement of the relaunch of commercial operations on the Abuja Light Rail.

In his remarks, FCT Minister Nyesom Wike recounted how the President’s directive at a public event in September 2023 prompted the FCT administration to act.

He noted that while the metro line was initially opened in 2018, it lacked essential access roads and remained non-functional.

He said the project was actualized in nine months under the administration of President Tinubu.

He however revealed that with the intervention of the President, the Central Bank of Nigeria, in collaboration with the Coordinating Minister of Economy and the Minister of Finance, and the Accountant General of the Federation, facilitated the payment of the contract sum of $30 . million, which had previously not been paid, to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the contractors.

Wike also revealed that the construction of access roads cost N21.4 billion.

The minister emphasized that the successful commissioning of the metro line is a testimony to the reality and great possibilities of the Renewed Hope Agenda.

“We have given renewed hope to the people. The Renewed Hope Agenda is real, functional and practical. “This station is a promise made and a promise kept,” the minister stated.

President Bola Tinubu accompanied on the train journey by Vice President Kashim Shettima

In an overview of the project, the FCT Mandate Secretary for Transport, Chinedu Elechi, stated that the Abuja metro line has 12 trains and each has the capacity to carry at least 700 passengers and make 14 trips per day.

He said that lots 1 and 2 of the metro line will make two daily trips simultaneously, which will have a cumulative capacity to transport 980,000 passengers per month in the Federal Capital Territory.

“All the secondary tracks to the four train stations and parking lots were built and delivered, making it possible to start commercial operations of the metro line today,” said the mandate secretary.

Vice President Kashim Shettima; the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas; Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola; Members of the Federal Executive Council and other dignitaries accompanied the president on the train journey.

Ajuri Ngelale

Special advisor to the president

(Media and advertising)

May 29, 2024

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