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FEC votes N273m for Abuja rail project

FEC votes N273m for Abuja rail project

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the award of a N272.7 million contract for consultancy services for the feasibility study and conceptual design of some sections of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit network.

Nurudeen Mohammed

Briefing State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting, supervising Minister of Information, Nurudeen Muhammed, disclosed that Lots 4, 5 and 6 of the rail project were awarded and the contract is expected to be completed in one year.

He disclosed that funding for the contract would be sourced from a provision of N280million made in the 2014 FCT Statutory Appropriation for the project.

“The Minister of the FCT brought a memo to  the Council seeking approval for the award of contract for the feasibility study and conceptual design of Lots 4, 5, and 6 of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit network for the Federal Capital Territory.

“The FCT Rail Mass Transit system is designed primarily as mover of people within and between the satellite towns and the different phases of the city.

“Also, the Abuja rail system will be integrated with the planned national rail network.

“There is a provision of N280 million in FCT’s 2014 Statutory Appropriation for the project.

“The projects upon completion will reduce traffic congestion, shorten journeys distances and reduce pressure on existing public transport services.

“The project will also provide employment opportunities to about 5,000 skilled and unskilled workers while about 4,500 skilled workers will be engaged in the direct operation of the system on completion”, the Minister stated.

The FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, who was also at the press briefing, explained that Lot 4 of the rail system is from Kuje to Karshi; Lot 5 from Kubwa to Bwari; and Lot 6 from Airport to Gwagwalada.

According to him, Lot 2 of the rail system will convey passengers from Nyanya to city centre and to Kubwa in Bwari Area Council, a project the private sector has already keyed into because it is very bankable.

“So, for Lots 4, 5, and 6 that is why we are doing feasibility study, we want to run away from the previous practice where contracts are awarded on the basis of conceptual design.

“This time around we are coming with the engineering design, payment and bill of quantity before we go to tender.

“We have finished the rail, we have brought in everything that needs to be brought; what is left are the stations,” said the Minister who assured the public that by next year, some parts of the rail system will be open for public use.

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