The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation has stated that the Federal Government has not provided its N9 billion counterpart funding for the Abuja light rail project, which will be inaugurated for commercial services by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.
The firm stated that the project, which began in May 2007, was challenged by inconsistent funding.
The CCECC Managing Director, Jack Li, said this to journalists in Abuja barely 24 hours to the inauguration of the completed phase one of Abuja light rail by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The 45.245km standard gauge rail line, which runs between the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and the Abuja Metro Station, is said to be the first of its kind in West Africa.
Giving a background to the project, the CCECC MD explained that it was fully funded with the $500m loan advanced by the China EXIM Bank.
Responding to questions about the funding of the project, Li said, “The counterpart funding of N9bn from the government has not been paid; inconsistent funding is a major challenge to the effective execution of the project.
“The Federal Capital Territory Administration decided to implement the project in phases and phase one of the project includes Lots 1A and 3, with a total length of 45.2 kilometres.”
Li stateed that 12 diesel multipurpose units, each with four coaches, would soon be brought in and added to the existing ones, adding that the down payment had not been finalised.
He explained that the rail would drastically improve the transport system in the FCT, noting that residents would enjoy safer and cheaper travels as well as easier lives.