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Monday, 10 April 2017

Abuja To Test Run Light Rail Service In November Before Launch - FCT Minister

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The contractor handling the Abuja Rail Mass Transit is expected to complete work on the project by October while the FCT Administration will commence the test run of the Rail Mass Transit by the middle of November 2017, an official has said.

The FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, made this disclosure while receiving a delegation of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, FTAN, led by its President, Tomilola Akingbogun, that paid him a visit in his office at Area 11, Garki I District, Abuja.

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The minister disclosed that by December 2017, the FCT Administration intends to temporarily open the rail services for the Lots 1A and 3 to the general public for usage.

According to him, the full operation of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit would commence by the first quarter of 2018 as earlier announced.

On the problem of multiple taxations in the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Bello reiterated that a committee is already working to address it.

He said that the participation of private investors in the development and economic activities of the Federal Capital Territory is paramount for better results and therefore the knotty issues of multiple taxations must be tackled to encourage them.

The minister emphasised that tourism must also be given its rightful place for private investors to take the front seat in order to stimulate economic activities in the territory.

His words: “Nigeria is truly endowed and the FCT Administration will surely leverage on such endowment to fast track its economic development.”

Mr. Bello urged the players in the tourism and hospitality industry to make attempts for establishment of small hotels like ‘Bed & Breakfast’ in the Federal Capital Territory to cater for the numerous daily visitors into Abuja, particularly for those at the lower ladder.

Earlier in his remarks, the President of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, Mr. Akingbogun, said the FTAN is the umbrella body representing all tourism trades, businesses and associations in Nigeria.

He called on governments at all levels to encourage Public-Private-Partnership options in developing tourism in Nigeria.

He lamented on the problems of multiple taxations between the FCT Administration and the Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, and appealed on the need to harmonise all rates, tariffs and levies introduced.

The FCT Permanent Secretary, Babatope Ajakaiye, and other senior officials of the FCT Administration joined the minister in receiving the delegation.

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