ABUJA- AHEAD of the formal handing over to the President- Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, retd, May 29, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday begs the incoming Administration not to abandon the on going projects especially the Light Rail project in the nation’s capital city, Abuja.
President Jonathan admitted yesterday that the Federal Government was owing Julius Berger and other Construction firms presently working on the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua way (Airport Road), Kubwa Outer Northern Expressway (ONEX) and the Abuja light Rail respectively, promising that he would pay the outstanding bills before he leaves office.
Speaking yesterday when he inspected three major ongoing projects in Abuja to ascertain the level of completion, President Jonathan stressed that settling the bills became imperative against the backdrop that the projects have changed the face of the nation’s capital, Abuja, just as he asked the President-elect, General Mohammadu Buhari, retd, to complete all ongoing projects initiated by his administration.
The President who took a ride in the ongoing Abuja Mass Transit Light Rail project to personally assess the extent of its implementation, however hailed the level of work done, disclosed that he personally inspected progress on the project as that would guide him properly on what exactly to tell Buhari when they meet soon to discuss.
The projects the President inspected yesterday were the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua way (Airport Road), Kubwa Outer Northern Expressway (ONEX) and the Abuja light Rail respectively.
Jonathan who stressed the importance of rail development in effective mass transit in the country as he observed that any other way would be inefficient and more expensive, also inspected the new rehabilitated and expanded 10-lane Airport Road named Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Expressway which is nearing completion.
The road project was part of the Outer Southern Expressway and Outer Northern Expressway that had been awarded by the administration of Yar’Adua at the cost of N257 billion in separate lots to Julius Berger, Messrs Dantata and Sawoe and CGC Nigeria Limited.
The President, while assessing the Airport Road, disclosed that the contract was awarded in May 2009 and that there was 30 kilometer of telecommunication on the road which has now changed the face of Abuja.
Meanwhile, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Senator Bala Mohammed who noted that the roads have reduced traffic from city center, pointed out that there was still an outstanding bill of between N5 to N15 billion the federal government was owing the Contractors.
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