MINISTER of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has assured that the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari, will ensure the sustenance of the Abuja-Kaduna rail project upon completion.
Briefing newsmen after a brief inspection and test ride of the rail project on Wednesday, in Abuja, Amaechi said the project would be completed and should be ready for use in July.
“Is it sustainable? The answer is ‘yes’ because it is on its own. If you say whether it will be subsidised, it will be. We are working out the details of how much it will cost to carry passengers and to maintain it.
“We are looking at bringing Mr President to commission in July. In two weeks’ time, they will do the test run of the track without passengers, after that two weeks, it will take another two weeks to do test run with passengers and it will be free-of-charge and that will take us to the end of June. Which means by first week in July, we believe that thpresident will come and flag it off for commercial service,” he said.
“At the beginning we had done the test run, but then it was not completed. Today, it has been completed. So, today is the first test run we are doing on the completed standard gauge. The signaling and communication, stations are all completed now, so you can actually technically say today is the first day of test running the completed project,” he said.
Amaechi also said his ministry would partner the Nigeria Identity Management Authourity (NIMA) to ensure smooth registration of passengers without hitches.
The project which started in 2011 was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) by the former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
The project which was to be test-run in March was billed for commissioning in May but was later shifted to July.