Tinubu and Shettima Inaugurate Abuja Metro Train, Marking Historic Launch

By Joke Kujenya

EMBARKING on the inaugural journey of the Abuja Metro train during its official commercial launch on Wednesday, President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima launched a momentous occasion for Nigeria’s transportation sector.

The grand inauguration of the Abuja light rail system by President Tinubu on Wednesday, May 29th, heralded a new era of public transportation in the capital city.

Addressing the audience at the inauguration ceremony, President Tinubu instructed the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, to extend the complimentary train rides on the Abuja Rail Mass Transit, also known as the Metro Rail, for an additional six months. This directive ensures that commuters can benefit from this service until the year’s end. Originally intended for a two-month free ride period to alleviate commuting challenges for FCT residents, President Tinubu underscored the significance of ongoing support for the populace through this initiative.

The resumption of operations for the first phase of the Chinese-built light railway network in Abuja after a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic was met with fervor from passengers.

Constructed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation at a cost of $823 million, the current railway network spans 45.25 kilometers across two lines, with future expansions planned to encompass six lines and a total of 292 kilometers of track upon completion.

President Bola Tinubu led the reopening ceremony of the train service that had been suspended in 2020, over a year after its initial commencement. Despite initial considerations for a two-month complimentary ride period, President Tinubu announced that passengers would not be charged until year-end, offering relief to individuals grappling with high transportation costs following last year’s removal of a popular petrol subsidy.

The Abuja Rail Mass Transit, also referred to as Metro Line, will continue to offer complimentary rides to passengers until the year’s end, as declared by President Tinubu during the presidential kickoff of the Abuja light rail project.

Recognizing the efforts of FCT Minister Nyesom Wike in delivering this transformative initiative, President Tinubu reiterated the government’s commitment to fulfilling promises and enhancing public services for all Nigerians.

The integration of the railway network linking the international airport with various parts of the city will facilitate seamless transportation for residents and commuters alike, Wike notes, and with ongoing development and expansion initiatives, the Abuja Metro train system is poised to become a pivotal element of Nigeria’s urban infrastructure, providing convenient and accessible public transportation options for all.

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