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Author: Sholzy
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Nigeria: Abuja Light Rail - Dec Deadline No Longer Feasible - NRC


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The December deadline given by the Ministry of Transportation before the commissioning of the Abuja light rail project appears no longer possible due to the late arrival of the train coaches from China last Tuesday.

Deputy Director Public Relations, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Yakub Mahmood, who disclosed this to Daily Trust, said it is not easy to convey the coaches to Abuja from Lagos, adding that special heavy duty vehicles needed to convey the coaches are already at the Tin Can Island in Lagos to embark on such mission any moment from now.
According to him, the locomotives have been in Abuja since July while the coaches are in Lagos now, ready to be conveyed to Abuja. "I cannot tell you precisely when the project will be commissioned as that is the function of the Minister of Transportation," he added.

He appealed to Nigerians to appreciate the efforts of government as all the equipment were imported and government was bent on delivering such laudable project.

"Nigerians should give us time. It is not something we should rush as everything involved has to be imported because they are not manufactured here. This is a standard railway line and everything has to comply with that standard and has to be new," he stated.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007 performed the official foundation laying ceremony of the Abuja light rail project. The $84 million, 280km Abuja Light Rail System (ALRS), was designed to convey commuters from satellite towns to the city centre.

The project was originally linked to the city's bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
However, lack of funds delayed the project by many years. The contract for the light rail project was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

The first phase of the project will connect the city centre to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, stopping at the standard gauge railway station in Idu. The project is expected to be launched in December 2017.

The Abuja rail mass transit project phase 1 consists of a 'Lot 1' and 'Lot 3' line.

Lot 1 Line consists of Lot1A and Lot1B line with a total length of 23.718km.