The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, says the FCT Administration will partner with the Nasarawa State Government on the development of rail line and road transportation networks.
Wike stated this when the Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa visited him in his office in Abuja on Friday.
Acknowledging the closeness of the Nasarawa State to the FCT, the minister stressed the need for working in synergy for the development of the two entities.
He said that the FCTA would open discussion with the Nasarawa Government on the development of the metro rail line from Apo to Keffi, and the completion of the road network from Abacha Barracks to Masaka.
According to him, the metro line is key but very expensive.
He added that efforts were on top gear to rehabilitate the metro line as directed by President Bola Tinubu, which he said would be completed in the next seven months.
He attributed the key challenge affecting the development efforts of the FCT to shortage of funds, adding that many projects and contracts had been awarded but without execution due to insufficient funds.
Wike said that the FCT Administration was identifying major projects with high impact that can stimulate development to be financed and completed.
He, however, said that Abuja could not grow if it did not do anything that would equally impact positively on Nasarawa state.
On the development of land for a clean city, as proposed by the Nasarawa Government, Wike said that he could not make a commitment for now due to shortage of funds.
He also emphasised the need for stronger partnership with the Nasarawa government to tackle insecurity.
Earlier, Sule said that the visit was to congratulate Wike for the well-deserved appointment as the Minister of the FCT and to also discuss the issue of development for mutual benefits.
The governor pointed out that more than 40 per cent of people working in Abuja were residing in Nasarawa State, stressing the need for partnership for development.
“This is why we have this road from Abacha Barracks down to the border that is so difficult to define in Nyanya.
“We have challenges on transportation. But thanks to the FCT for the road network from Abacha to the border. We understand that the road will continue all the way to Masaka.
“The FCT has a part to play, and the state government will do its parts, ” he said.
He explained that based on the agreement, the Nasarawa Government was to provide the needed security, collapse the 22 motor parks causing traffic on the road and build a terminal in their place.
The governor said that a terminal that could accommodate 900 vehicles had been built on seven hectares of land and already in use.
“So, we have met our part of the bargain in order to see that the project is concluded.
“I am hoping that Mr Project (Wike), without any doubt in my mind, will meet the other side of the bargain so that we will have the clean city we are looking for,” he said.
On the metro train rail line, Sule said that his government wanted to tap from the FCT additional metro line development.
“We discussed with the previous minister that whatever it is, we don’t want free meal, Nasarawa state will bring its own part of the bargain for the rail line development from Apo going all the way to Keffi.
“We have even initiated a discussion with CCECC Nig. Ltd and a Russian company that are willing to construct. With this, we can say we are more than happy to work jointly with the FCT to develop that.
Sule said that the development of the rail transport linking Abuja city with Nasarawa would open another area of development for housing, not only for Nasarawa residents but also for the FCT.
The governor added that at the border, just about five km from Maitama 2, the government had about 13,000 hectares of land at Garku-Kubusu for housing development.
He explained that it was the initiative of the previous governor of the state that was sold to the FCT for joint development.
“That is an area we sold to the FCT, that we can jointly build another Kigali and build another Dubai. We cannot do it alone, but with the help of the FCT, we can build a clean city,” the governor said.