By LAIDE AKINBOADE
ABUJA — Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Smart Adeyemi, has said the N935 billion budgeted for security last year could have helped to restore the nation’s educational sector, repair the bad road networks and create jobs for unemployed youths.
Senator Smart stated this at the flag-off of construction works on 12 railway stations under the first phase of the project.
He stressed that the money would have gone a long way in solving some of the challenges the nation was currently facing.
He said: “But I must say this, the challenges this government, led by President Goodluck Jonathan, had been through is more than any challenge any past government had ever passed through since independence”.
“There is no government that had been faced with the challenges and obstacles towards good governance, peace and security of our nation than this government.
”I am happy we are gradually getting over the challenges especially the insecurity. Last year alone, we budgeted N935 billion on security. It is enough to repair Nigeria’s highway; it is enough money to restore the education sector; it is enough to provide jobs and setup industries in the country. The money that was voted for security is enough to do a lot for Nigerians.”
He assured Nigerians that the administration was committed to improving the standard of living of Nigerians.
Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, assured Nigerians that Abuja light rail project was on course and would be completed by its 2015 deadline.
He Stressed the economic importance of the project, adding that there were currently 3, 500 indigenous workforce, which would grow to 20,000 upon its completion.
”While the 2010 demand study for the project showed a daily ridership of about 470, 000 passengers daily, the current growth rate in the territory would translate to having over 700, 000 passengers riding the trains daily.
”The first phase of Abuja Light Rail project consists of approximately 45 kilometres of double-track rail line traversing the Central Area to Abuja International Airport, through Idu and from Idu to Kubwa.
”The network concept is made of six lots covering a total distance of about 300 kilometres.”
Transport Secretary in the FCT Administration, Jonathan Ivoke, said the level of progress so far on all aspects of the project was 27 per cent, adding that the project had 16 stations.
”Rail Stations are places of high economic activities, boarding or alighting, rail transit management and operations, commercial and tourism activities. The locations of these stations are strategically designed to connect the transportation network to districts and area councils,” said Ivoke.