FG approves N718m to protect Abuja tram from criminals

He said: “I presented a memo to the Federal Executive Council meeting today and it approved a contract for the provision of security services for the Abuja light rail transit system.

“These companies are Messers Al-Ahali Security Guards Limited and Messers Seaguard Security and Protective Company Limited.

“They will ensure the safety of all 45 kilometers of track, including 12 stations.

“And these security services are intended to protect key infrastructure on the railway tracks, signaling and communication equipment as well as the electrical system.

“Al-Ahali security guard Limited will secure 27.4 kilometers of the runway, covering eight stations at a cost of N407,214,000 over a two year period.

“Seaguard Securities and Protective Company Limited will secure 18 kilometers of railway tracks, including four stations, and it will cost N310,979,250.”

The Minister of Transport, Oumar Samboalso revealed that the council had approved N1.4 billion for the purchase of spare parts and repairs for a crane from the Nigeria Railway Corporation.

He said the crane, which plays a vital role in carrying out the company’s business, was now broken down and needed repair.

“Today I had the privilege of presenting before the council, a memorandum from the Ministry of Transport on behalf of one of its agencies, the Nigeria Railway Corporation, for the purchase of spare parts and to undertake the repairs and overhaul of one of its critical cranes.

“The Board has considered the brief because this crane is required by the Company for emergency repairs to its rolling stock; it broke down and therefore needs to be repaired.

“Approval was given for the total sum of N1,491,065,722.72 inclusive of 7.5% VAT, with a performance period of 12 months”, he said.

The minister, who also responded to questions about the suspension of the Abuja-Kaduna rail service following the train attack in March 2022, said two issues were delaying the resumption of rail services.

He said those issues included families traumatized by their family members still in terrorist captivity and the need for surveillance facilities to monitor leads.

According to him, the government was examining the best options in terms of monitoring, including the concession under a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement.

On the exact timeline for executing the initiative, the minister said:

“If I give a timeline, I will be lying to you. It will be insensitive to restart the service if some families are crying day and night over their family members still in the bush.

The minister said the government was aware of the costs involved but should be able to report definitive progress in around a month.

Jose P. Rogers