By Daniel Tyokua
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Shehu Sani has commended the FCT Administration over the success achieved on the Abuja Light Rail project.
He said the success recorded in the rail transport system put Abuja in good stead and in conformity with other cities of the world.
Senator Sani gave the commendations when members of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts paid an oversight visit to the FCT minister in his office.
A statement issued by Cosmas Uzodinma, Chief press secretary to FCT minister, the Committee Chairman, who appeared in doubt over the local content aspect of the project, said it would be more beneficial to have Nigerians fully involved in the implementation and operation of the railway project.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa, however allayed the fears of the Committee in this regard, noting that consultants handling the project were mainly Nigerians with many FCT engineers working with the Chinese to deliver on the projects.
Bello said the commencement of railway services is already stimulating investments on the railway corridors and helping to develop the capacity of some young Nigerians in railway technology, operations and ancillary services.
The Minister stated that one of the various benefits from the railway project is the ease of transportation for those living on the lines of the Phase 1, while noting that each of the stations already in operation has made room for clusters of economic activities such as retail trade, estate development and other forms of investments.
Earlier in his remark, Senator Shehu Sani, said the Committee was in FCTA to receive a comprehensive report on the utilization of funds received as loans by the FCTA under the Federal Government lending plans as approved by the National Assembly.
He however expressed worries that the Committee has come under fire on the issue of incessant approvals of loans, so much so, that it was now a struggle to convince legislators to append their signatures to proposals on borrowing plans.
His words: “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.