The Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Shehu Sani has said the success achieved on the Abuja Light Rail project has place the federal capital in superior stead and in conformity with other cities of the planet.
Sani disclosed this to the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, when members of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts recently paid an muddle visit to the FCT Administration.
The Committee Chairman, who appeared in doubt over the local pleased aspect of the project, said it would be more favourable to hold Nigerians fully involved in the implementation and operation of the railway project.
He said the Committee was in FCTA to get a comprehensive report on the utilization of funds received as loans by the FCTA below the Federal Government lending plans as approved by the National Assembly.
Sani, notwithstanding, expressed worries that the Committee has near below fire on the issue of incessant approvals of loans so much so that it was just a strive to convince legislators to append their signatures to proposals on borrowing plans.
“As we keep borrowing to invest, we should be wise enough to explain how it would be paid from the channel in which it was invested. The Committee is interested in its viability, not necessarily the aesthetic value,” he said.
In his remarks, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello disclosed that consultants handling the project were chiefly Nigerians with numerous FCT engineers working with the Chinese to furnish on the projects.
He said the graduation of railway services is already stimulating investments on the railway corridors and helping to expand -swell the power of some young Nigerians in railway technology, operations and ancillary services.
Bello further stated that individual of the a lot of benefits from the railway project is the ease of transportation for those living on the lines of the Phase 1, stressing that each of the stations already in operation has made room for clusters of economic activities such as advertise business, estate development and other forms of investments.
His words, “A new crop of young Nigerians are being trained to manage the railway value chain. Some local indigenes from around the railway corridor have been sent to China to learn railways technology, management. To the Federal Capital Territory, the huge multiplier values derivable from the utility will be of immense benefits both for now and for the future. It is of interest to note that there are Nigerians, even women, now driving the locomotives.”
The Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Philip Gyunka, in his keynote address, underscored the strategic importance of the FCT in the realm, especially with regards to implementation of projects designed to adjust the lives of public.
He said the Senators were in the FCTA for a first-hand test of programmes and projects proposed by the Administration with regard to loan applications approved by the National Assembly.
He recalled that below the 2012 and 2014 outside borrowing idea of the Federal Government, two chief projects; the Abuja Light rail project, with a thankfulness amount of $500million obtained from EXIM Bank of China and a facility for the Development of Infrastructure of the satellite towns, with a thankfulness amount of $300 million from the African Development Bank, were approved.