The Federal Government has insisted on December 2018, as completion date, for the Lagos-Ibadan Rail line to be delivered to Nigerians.
The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi made the position of Government known during an inspection tour of the Rail line, Tuesday May 8, 2018 at Papalanto in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State.
Amaechi was accompanied by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed and Press men, to ascertain the up-to-date progress work on the Rail line after the last visit a month ago.
Acknowledging the huge challenges of Gas and Water pipe lines, Sewage line, Bridges and electricity poles on the right of way of the Rail line, Amaechi reiterated that, notwithstanding the challenges, the Federal Government will deliver the Rail line to Nigerians come December 2018 or latest January 2019.
While addressing the press after the monthly meeting of the Project Steering Committee, Amaechi said, “As usual, we are here for our monthly inspection to review the entire project starting from Lagos to Ibadan and even though there are hitches here and there, we found out that we are progressing well”.
He expressed satisfaction with the progress level of work on the Lagos-Ibadan railway project, noting that the project is 60 percent completed and is on course for completion on time.
Amaechi further said “Despite the rains, we are working on the track laying which can be done now while we wait for the rain to stop so we can move to the other aspects.”
Commenting on the challenges, he said “despite these challenges,60 percent of the work has been done so far and we are satisfied. The workers laid 1.2 killometers tracks per day and with this, we will meet our target”.
Amaechi speaking specifically on the bridges to be demolished and Army Barracks on the track roots to be relocated,said “these are not the issues. Bridges don’t affect the tracks. Our target is to handle the technical areas where the tracks will be laid and funds will be disbursed to the military after which they will relocate and we will find a suitable permanent place for them.”
On the recent agreement signed with General Electric, GE, the Minister said “every necessary concession and agreements has been made. What GE is coming to do within this May and June is to do partial rehabilitation of the old rail tracks. They will upgrade both Lagos to Kano and also rehabilitate from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri. While this is going on, we will consider the construction of a Standard Gauge”.
Also speaking during the press briefing, the Minister of Information, Alh. Lai Mohammed in the same vein, expressed satisfaction with the level of work so far and noted that the Lagos-Ibadan project was just one of the many projects embarked upon by the Federal Government under President Mohammed Buhari.
According to him, “the idea of this visit is to showcase the achievements of the President Mohammed Buhari’s Administration. We are starting with the Ministry of Transport and tomorrow, we will move to that of Works.
“The idea is to tell the world what this administration has achieved, because people complained that they don’t see what this administration has achieved. This Lagos – Ibadan project is just one of the few we are doing and with the level of work being 60 percent, we are satisfied”.