President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday inaugurated the Kubwa and Abuja Expressways, with a plea to President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, not to abandon ongoing viable projects initiated or inherited by his administration.
The two roads commissioned by the President are also known as the Outer Northern Expressway and Outer Southern Expressways, respectively, as well as the Abuja Rail Project, which is expected to be put to use in December 2015.
The contracts for the expansion of the highways was awarded in 2008 by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua to tackle the problems of perennial traffic congestion usually encountered by motorists coming into the nation’s capital.
The contracts, which involved the expansion of the roads to 10 lanes as well as the rehabilitation of the existing expressways, were awarded at N257billion.
The two lots of the Airport Expressway project were managed by Julius Berger, while Messrs Dantata and Sawoe and CGC Nigeria Limited, executed Lot I and Lot II of the Outer Northern Expressway (Kubwa Expressway) projects, respectively.
During the tour of the Abuja Rail Project, President Jonathan expressed satisfaction with both the quality and level of completion of the project, which he described as “life transforming.”
“You are doing wonderfully well,” he told the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT and contractors.
“This project is dear to us and I am quite pleased with the level and pace of completion. Looking at the stockpiles of typical materials gives me hope that the project would be delivered on time according to specifications.
“We have always insisted that without a functional rail system in any nation, you cannot talk about mass transit because mass transit cannot be built on taxis or small buses alone, and even the big buses are too expensive for an average resident of FCT, they are for short runs.
“But for real effective mass transit where commuters are meant to pay very low rate, then rail system is the key, and that is why the government has plans for city rails like this and inter-city rail system to come on board and link to each other. Our target at the national level is to make sure that every state capital is linked up by the railway system,” he said.
The President expressed hope that the incoming administration of Gen. Buhari will continue to support some of the developmental projects initiated by his administration with the aim of completing them, “because government is all about continuity.
“Although, we are leaving on May 29, but I believe that by the time Lots 1 and 2 which are completed, the others may come on stream. It may not be in three or five years time, but I am sure that it would definitely come on stream,” he said.
At the Kubwa and Airport Highways, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, told President Jonathan that both roads were 98 percent completed.
The roads which are already in use, he said, have contributed to the beautification of the city, especially at night when visitors from other countries are arriving into the country. He further explained that it had also contributed to reducing travel time from the airport to the city center.
The minister pleaded with the President to assist the administration to facilitate the payment of N5billion to the contractors handling the Airport Road and between N5 and N10billion owed the contractors handling the Kubwa Road.

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