Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has directed relevant agencies of the FCT Administration to clear all illegal settlements and structures to make way for the FCT railway corridor and station access ways.
The Minister specifically directed the Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, Malam Shuaibu Umar to commence sensitization meetings with the stakeholders in the various railway corridors over illegal settlements around Kukwaba, Dei Dei, Gwagwa, Kuchigoro and others, with a view to giving them enough time to vacate the railways corridors and station access ways
The Minister spoke when he embarked on a test ride of the train service and inspection tour of the rail stations. He was led on the inspection by officials of CCECC Nigeria Ltd, which is the rail construction company.
Muhammad Musa Bello also directed the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to speed up works on the opening of access roads to the 12 railway stations to make it possible for passengers to gain access to the train services which, he indicated, will start in a few weeks’ time.
The test ride which took the Minister and his entourage round the 12 railway stations spread across the scenic landscape of the rail network, gave the riders an exciting preview of what commuters expect to have upon the commencement of the train services.
At the end of the inspection, the Minister expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done in the railway project and commended the contracting firm and consultants for a good job.
The minister thanked then Deputy General Manager of CCECC Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Huong Xiang Qiam for an excellent delivery, adding: “we are very satisfied with the quality of works that has been done. What remains now is to recover the railway boundaries, clear the corridors and provide access ways to the stations. This we hope will be done in the next few weeks to enable us commence the test services.
“We hope to open the stations for operations in the next few weeks and we don’t want a situation where the train would be competing for space with illegal structures and settlements”, the Minister said.
Earlier, Transport Secretary of the FCTA, Comrade Kayode Opeifa said that the Stadium Station would be serviced by an underpass tunnel and is designed to provide traffic relief for the city during sporting and other social events in the stadium.
The 12 completed stations include the Metro, Stadium, Wupa, Kukwaba 1 and 2, Gwagwa and Dei-Dei train stations. Others are the Idu, Bassanjiwa, Airport, Kagini, Bazango stations.