Home NEWS I’m Not In Happy Mood, FCT Minister Tells Abuja Rail Contractor

I’m Not In Happy Mood, FCT Minister Tells Abuja Rail Contractor

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyeson Ezenwo Wike, has criticised the level of work in, and the design of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit Scheme, also known as the Abuja Light Rail Project.
The Minister, who took an inspection tour of the Metro Station in the Central Business District and the Kukwaba II Train station, as well as the station’s access road, still under construction yesterday, January 11, said that he was not in a happy mood with what he saw.
“But frankly speaking, knowing where I’m coming from, having presided over projects like this, I’m not in a happy mood at all.”
Wike expressed dissatisfaction with observable security lapses at the Abuja Metro Station, and lamented that the theft and vandalism of rail infrastructure are still happening, despite the security contract meant to secure the facilities.
The Minister also bemoaned the absence of perimeter fencing around the metro station, saying that the absence could be the reason for the continued theft and vandalism of rail infrastructure.
“When we visited the metro station, I discovered that there are issues of security lapses and I remember when I came for the first time after our inauguration, I did say that they have to work on the issue of security by putting on the fence around the metro station in order to ward off criminals.
“Unfortunately, that has not been done. To my surprise, I discovered that the contract was not even awarded to CCECC. It’s a different contract that was awarded by the FCT and this is my first time of hearing that and we are going to take it up immediately to see that it is put in place because you can’t talk about operation when you have not addressed the issue of security.”
He directed that the security contractors to ensure improved security in the stations.
The Minister also expressed displeasure with some aspects of the designs in both stations especially the lack of central cooling systems and poor design of the access road at Kukwaba station.
“From what I have seen, the designs are very poor. Whoever may have approved the designs is unfair to Nigerians. I’ve told CCECC that this kind of design is not even acceptable in their own country and if I had known before now, I would not have promised Mr. President that it would be ready.
“The design of the access roads linking to the various stations, those who conceptualized it, people will always talk about money and so they rush into things without properly evaluating and seeing the benefit it will accrue to the residents and to the users. The conceptualization is not the best, but again what do you do? This is what is on ground. We have to see how we can finish it on time.”
The Minister expressed fear that with what he saw, there are doubts on the possibility of meeting the May 2024 deadline for the completion and commissioning of the project.
He said: “But be it as it may, we still have to work round the clock to see that we achieve our results and I’ve also directed that the stations must be cleaned. All the things that are not there must be provided. There will be no room for excuses at all.
He said that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has released the funds for the projects and that he would not be happy if by May , the FCT is not able to operate the metro line.
“It will be very disastrous for me.”
the Minister said, adding that excuses would not be accepted.
“That’s why it’s not good for you to be in the office. You have to go and see things for yourself and not depend on the reports coming from the field. You can imagine if I am sitting in the office and then depending on the reports from those who said they are in the field, by the time I will come here in May, I will be messed up. But I thank God that I came to see things for myself.”

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