In his inaugural official task, Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), conducted an inspection of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit (ARMT) System rehabilitation project on Wednesday. The Minister’s visit to the ARMT Metro Station in Abuja was aimed at tackling the issues plaguing public transportation in the FCT.
Wike, addressing the media during his visit, emphasized his commitment to addressing the challenges faced by public transportation in the FCT. He outlined his intention to rapidly revamp the transportation sector to enhance public transit services within the capital city.
“Enhancing transportation is a priority for us in the short term, with the aim of alleviating traffic congestion within the city. The non-functional metro station in Abuja has caught my attention. We need to expedite its repair and restoration,” Wike stated.
The Minister underscored his belief in completing ongoing projects before embarking on new ones, noting that finished and operational projects inspire confidence among the public. He expressed his aversion to initiating additional rail projects while an existing one remained inoperative. Wike emphasized the importance of managing resources effectively and ensuring the timely completion of ongoing initiatives.
“We are dedicated to seeing the rail transport system through to completion. Before initiating new projects, we will strategically identify high-traffic zones to alleviate congestion in those areas,” Wike explained.
During his inspection, Wike took a train ride from the Metro Station to the Airport and Idu Stations to assess the ongoing rehabilitation efforts. He lauded the progress made on the project and highlighted its potential to significantly alleviate traffic congestion in the city.
“This is a commendable project that we are determined to bring to fruition. The necessary funds for rehabilitation are available, and I have instructed the Permanent Secretary, FCT Administration, Adesola Olusade, to ensure prompt payments to the contractor,” Wike assured.
Wike expressed his commitment to commissioning the project for public use in the coming months. He emphasized the need to resolve the challenges faced by the rail transport system, highlighting it as one of the measures aligned with President Bola Tinubu’s palliative efforts.
Mariya Mahmoud, the Minister of State for FCT, concurred with Wike’s approach, noting that addressing the issues affecting rail transport would pave the way for its effective implementation. She described the transportation system as one of the measures designed to alleviate challenges for the public.
The project faced setbacks due to significant vandalism of rail infrastructure during the COVID-19 lockdown. To mitigate these challenges, private security firms have been engaged to safeguard the system. Additionally, the Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company has been tasked with managing the operation.
Joseph Akinteye, Director of Transportation, FCTA, provided insights into the ARMT system rehabilitation project. He explained that the project, consisting of Lots 1 A and 3, spans a total of 45.245 kilometres. While the ARMT system’s first phase, Lots 1 and 3, totalling 77.775 kilometres, was awarded in 2007, only Lots 1 A and three were successfully completed and commissioned in 2018.
Minister Wike’s proactive engagement with the ARMT rehabilitation project showcases his dedication to resolving public transportation challenges and improving the daily lives of residents in the FCT.