Gives Dec. 2018 as Deadline for Completion of Lagos-Ibadan Railway
Gift Samuel, The Sight News
Ogun State- The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi has on Tuesday disclosed plans to bring down the two bridges in Jibowu and Costain in Lagos state to give way for the passage of railway linking Lagos, Ogun and Ibadan.
This is as he disclosed that two new bridges will also be constructed at Costain and a fly over at Jibowu before the demolition to ease traffic.
According to him, “We agreed that the two bridges in Jibowu and Costain will have to go and the arrangement we have to make before they go has been agreed with the Governor. We agreed to construct two new bridges at the costain and will construct a fly over at Jibowu and demolish the existing one”.
Amaechi who spoke to Journalists after an inspection tour of railway construction projects in Papalanto, Ogun State, expressed satisfaction with the speed of work, adding that agreement has been reached with the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) to start laying tracks by April 2018 to ensure that the project is completed and ready for commissioning latest January 2019.
“Be rest assured that we are chasing the Chinese to finish in 2018, don’t forget the contract is three years, that’s their own argument but our own argument is that we need it before 2019 January” he said.
Touching on the Itori Gas pipeline that has posed a challenge to the construction workers, he said that the Itori Gas pipeline relocation is ongoing and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC is on sight to assess what should be done and have been given one to two weeks to conclude and relocate the gas pipeline as there will be no rail line if it is not addressed.
Speaking on the challenges so far, he said “There is no way you can do construction without challenges in different forms and kinds and you have to address them. The challenges are not here, they are worst in Lagos, we are dealing with water, we are dealing with drainage, gas, power and even the military, residential houses to office complex to gas pipeline and even fibre cables.
“The target is that by 2018 December, we should change the face of lagos and change the face of the Nigerian railway between Lagos and Ibadan” Amaechi noted.
The former Rivers state Governor further stated that with the emanating challenges, it is not certain if there will be cost overrun, adding that if a credible cost overrun is presented, the Ministry will be compelled to go to the cabinet to present an argument.
He announced also that two locomotives and 10 coaches came into the country and President Muhammadu Buhari will be commissioning it this December. “We want to making sure that those who are traveling from Kaduna to Abuja are able to use the new coaches” he said.