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Abujas ARMTP to be tested in November and commissioned in December
The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) recently confirmed that Lots 1A and 3 of Nigeria’s Abuja Rail Mass Transit Project (ARMTP) would be tested in November and commissioned in December. The new line, which will connect Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to the city centre, will also serve Idu Station.
This 45-kilometre section of the line consists of two tracks with a standard gauge of 1,435 mm. Twelve stations had to be designed from scratch along the route.
The Lot-1A line starts at Idu and ends at Kubwa while the Lot-3 line begins at Abuja Station and ends at Airport Station. Project Manager Kong Tao confirmed that the total cost would be US$823 million (around ₦300 billion) and said that the project would create jobs in the area as well as boost the country’s GDP. However, he stressed that the area would be reaping many more benefits.
“Abuja Rail Mass Transit Project is bound to accelerate the growth of the national economy [and] deliver much benefits to the general public,” Tao told journalists who were visiting the Idu site. He also told them that the project would promote better living conditions, raise the value of the surrounding land and save energy.
However, the project manager said that he was concerned at the ongoing vandalism targeting the company’s facilities.
“Despite hundreds of security personnel employed to secure the facilities, thieves still steal something here almost every week,” he told the journalists.
But theft is not the only issue. The perimeter fencing that was erected along the tracks is regularly breached by local residents who wish to cross the railway lines.
“This endangers lives as operational trains move constantly on the rail track. Safety is the most important thing in our operation. Even though we built a fence to prevent trespass, they break it to cross the rail track,” he explained.
President Olusegun Obasanjo attended the groundbreaking ceremony in 2007. The project, which was expected to be completed in 2011 – well ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games – was significantly delayed due to lack of funds.
In total, the project necessitated the construction of 13 railway bridges, 50 culverts, 15 flyover bridges and 9 pedestrian overpasses and bridges.
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