To better manage traffic in Abuja, traffic lights had been installed at 74 intersections in the first phase of the project in 2015.
A great symbol of China-Nigeria friendship, the project symbolizes "a concrete embodiment of the implementation" of the nine programs of China-Africa cooperation, Cui Jianchun, Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, said at the flag-off ceremony.
"This project will bring a lot of relief to the transportation system of Abuja, will be useful to the country, and will equally impact positively on the social life of local residents," the diplomat said.
Adesola Olusade, permanent secretary of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration, said the construction comes at a time when the FCT was in dire need of having its major road intersections signalized for ease of traffic flow and orderliness.
"The era of energy supply through solar is fast overtaking the age-long energy supply through the national grid, which is mostly unreliable. The solar-powered traffic light system in the FCT is just desirable at this moment," Olusade added.
One of the fastest-growing cities in the world with an equally fast-growing population, Abuja is facing pressure on city infrastructure, including that dedicated to traffic management.
"Today’s event, therefore, could not have come at a better time as we seek to ensure ease of traffic and orderliness on our roads through the provision of traffic control signals at major road intersections," said Muhammad Musa Bello, minister of the FCT, who pledged to ensure an enabling environment for a hitch-free and successful delivery of the project.
The China Railway No. 8 Engineering Group responsible for the construction work will discover new talents and hone the skills of local technicians in fields such as steel, concrete and electricity, said Jiang Kaifeng, the project manager.