The Nigerian government has revealed its ambitious plans to upgrade the Abuja Rail Mass Transit (ARMT) System, one of the country’s only metro systems. The N5 billion contract for the project was announced by Mr. Olusade Adesola, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Friday.
The project will be executed by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd (CCECC) and is expected to be completed within 12 months. The aim of the upgrade is to restore the vital rail transportation infrastructure, which Mr. Adesola described as the “lifeblood of Abuja city.” The enhanced Abuja light rail is expected to play a crucial role in easing transportation challenges and enhancing mobility for residents.
Mr. Adesola acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the temporary shutdown of the rail system as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, during this period, the equipment suffered damage from vandals. To address this issue, contracts for the provision of security for the ARMT System have already been awarded. The authorities are committed to safeguarding this valuable asset and will implement modern security measures to protect against future threats.
The rehabilitation process will involve the repair and replacement of damaged equipment and the upgrading of facilities. The project will focus on revitalizing the 45.245-kilometer stretch of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit System, known as Lots 1 A and 3. The initial ARMT system was planned to span 77.775 km, but only 45.245 km was completed in 2017. It was commissioned in 2018 and underwent a trial operation service that lasted for 20 months. The successful completion of the rehabilitation will bring back the Metro Line services, marking a significant milestone in the city’s transportation infrastructure.
The Director of Transportation, FCTA, Mr. Joseph Akinteye, expressed enthusiasm about the project, stating, “We will soon witness the return of a more efficient and reliable transportation system. This is not just about repairing physical infrastructure; it is a testament to the resilience of our city and its people. It showcases our determination to overcome challenges and our unwavering commitment to the welfare of our citizens. It is a demonstration of our government’s dedication to creating an enabling environment for economic growth and social well-being.”
In related news, as part of efforts to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal, Nigerian lawmakers and administrators have been exploring alternative energy solutions for mass transit. President Tinubu recently announced plans for 3,000 gas-powered buses, while Delta and Ogun states have also revealed their intentions to introduce electric vehicles.
With the ARMT System upgrade set to begin, residents of Abuja eagerly anticipate the return of a more efficient and reliable transportation system, further enhancing the city’s connectivity and promoting economic growth.