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Just in: Abuja metro rail to operate free for two months, says Wike

"We are starting commercial operation of the 'Abuja Light Rail' on Monday, and we are going to allow free rides for two months"

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Mr. Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, has disclosed that the Abuja Light Rail will commute passengers free from May to July this year after its inauguration.

With the Abuja Rail Mass Transit set for inauguration on Monday, May 27, the minister assured Abuja residents of safety and optimal service delivery.

Wike stated this during the ongoing Ministerial Sectoral Update to mark the President Bola Tinubu administration’s first year in office, held at the Radio House in Abuja on Thursday.

He said: “The FCT Administration was assigned presidential priorities five and six of the nine high-impact deliverables. Priority five has to do with enhanced infrastructure and transportation as enablers of growth.

“To that effect, we are starting commercial operation of the ‘Abuja Light Rail’ on Monday, and we are going to allow free rides for two months.

“Mr. President might be compassionate enough to extend it to six months to ease the sufferings of Nigerians. This is the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda; it’s all about talk and do.”

Wike clarified that “we are not talking about the commissioning of buildings; what we are doing on Monday is the commissioning of commercial operations.”

“Before we came on board, there was no access road to the train stations, and it’s impeded with operation. All access roads are ready; FCT is ready for Mr. President Bola Tinubu on the 27th of May.”

Persecondnews reports that the Abuja Light Rail’ was the first rapid transit system in the country, West Africa, and the second such system in sub-Saharan Africa (after Addis Ababa Light Rail).

The first phase of the project connects the city centre to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, stopping at the Abuja-Kaduna Railway station in Idu.

The Abuja Metro Line was launched on July 12, 2018, and a three-train-per-day service opened for passengers the following week.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the suspension of passenger services on the line in early 2020.

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