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Tinubu Extends Free Abuja Light Rail Rides Until Year End

30 May

Reported by Ayooluwa Afolabi

President Bola Tinubu has announced the extension of free rides on the newly launched Abuja Light Rail until the end of the year.  

He made this declaration on Wednesday during the re-launch of commercial operations on the Abuja Light Rail, with key political figures in attendance, including the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike.  

This announcement was detailed in a statement by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.

This follows Wike’s earlier announcement that residents would enjoy a two-month free ride on the Abuja Light Rail, made during a ministerial press briefing on Tinubu’s 12-month performance held last week.  

“Our dear Landlord, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), I have heard you say there will be free train rides for two months. I want to appeal to you to make it until the end of the year. Let us give the people reasons to celebrate,’’ Tinubu said.

Tinubu praised the reopening of the Abuja Metro Line as a significant milestone, commending Minister Wike for the timely delivery.  

Following his remarks, Tinubu took a 40-minute ride from the metro station to the airport station, accompanied by the FCT Minister, Vice President Kashim Shettima, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, Speaker of the House of Representatives Tajudeen Abbas, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, members of the Federal Executive Council, and other dignitaries.  

Wike, in his address, highlighted that President Tinubu’s directive in September 2023 spurred swift action towards the metro line from the FCT administration.  

He noted that although the metro line was inaugurated in 2018, it remained non-functional due to the lack of essential access roads.  

Wike disclosed that the project was completed within nine months, with the Central Bank of Nigeria, in collaboration with the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, the Minister of Finance, and the Accountant General of the Federation, facilitating the payment of $30 million to the contractors, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).  

He also revealed that constructing the access roads cost N21.4 billion. 

Providing further insight, the FCT Mandate Secretary for Transportation, Chinedu Elechi, stated that the Abuja Metro Line has 12 trains, each capable of carrying at least 700 passengers, making 14 trips per day.  

He added that Lot 1 and 2 of the metro line would run two trips simultaneously every day, with a cumulative capacity of transporting 980,000 passengers monthly within the Federal Capital Territory.
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