In recent years, there have been various news reports about the Abuja Mass Transit project.
An idea that was concieved as part of the original master plan and one that would greatly reduce the growing traffic problems in Abuja due to the rapidly growing population.
There was a recent release of funds towards this project and some controversy surrounding the involvement or non involvement of Nigerian engineers by the chinese firm handling the contract
China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC).
In the past, if you asked anyone about thier opinion on this kind of project in Nigeria, the response , gave you the impression it was another white elephant project.
I'm a little more hopefull these days because recently, 2013 was mentioned as a dealine and I've actually seen the beginings of some kind of work I believe is a path for a mass transit rail system.
I't would easily provide employment for thousands of currently unemployed, And ease this rapid congestion problem in Abuja.
On a recent visit to South Africa, I marvelled at the new Guatrain,
not because it was a train , you see these in any progressive country , but especially because I remember when the annoucement was made, saw the beginings of the project and watched how work on at least the first stages progressed especially in the run up to the world cup in South Africa.(Today you can take the train from the airport to Sandton in 15mins, it took 2 hours by road )
So I just hope those in charge can take a cue from all this and make it happen. But judging from the made in china sign I noticed on the site, I hope this is not some kind of indicator for the pace at which this work will be carried out. It will take one man a lot longer than we can anticipate.
Phillip Ideh (Jnr)