Abuja metro inauguration (Photo President's office) (3)

NIGERIA: President Bola Tinubu relaunched passenger services on the Abuja metro on May 29, when he announced that travel would be free until the end of the year.

His predecessor had launched a limited passenger service in 2018, but it was suspended in 2020 because of the pandemic.

’Let us give the people reasons to celebrate’, the President said before taking a 40 min ride from Abuja Metro Station to the airport.

He said the metro ‘was first commissioned in 2018 for public use, but this was not to be. Covid-19 struck. The train service was abandoned, vandalised, disused and abused.’

The metro has now been revived ‘as a symbol of unity and enhanced accessibility’. Some stations had not opened in 2018 and lacked access roads. This has now been addressed, and the government has also paid contractor China Civil Engineering Construction Corp US$30m which was outstanding.

Abuja metro inauguration (Photo President's office) (8)

Federal Capital Territory Secretary for Transportation Chinedu Elechi said the line has 12 trains each with a capacity of at least 700 passengers, which would now operate 14 trips per day.

‘Transportation gives hope and access to various individuals and organisations’, the President added.