By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
The Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr Fidet Okhiria, has disclosed that the 156-kilometre new Lagos-Ibadan railway will be ready in May 2019.
This is just as he said, that commercial operation would commence on the 85km Iju-Abeokuta section, at the end of the ongoing free train ride by passengers on the line expected to last for three months.
The disclosure was made in a statement on the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Twitter handle @Official_NRC on Monday.
Recall that the Iju-Abeokuta section of the standard gauge new railway is currently operating a daily free train, which will last for three months.
Meanwhile, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, on February 8, 2019, led several dignitaries including Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, on a train ride from Iju to Abeokuta, to signify the commitment of the Federal Government to the new railway project.
Speaking on what was left to be done, the NRC Managing Director, said the contractor handling the project,China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, would need to lay rail track from Iju to Ebutte Meta and extend it to the Lagos port.
He added, that the CCECC was not expected to encounter much difficulty in the execution of the Lagos-Iju work, having secured the cooperation of the Lagos State Government and other affected stakeholders and had jointly agreed on how to handle the various knotty issues.
He revealed, that about 30 coaches, including two sets of the diesel multiple unit, would be dedicated to the new line after the three months free train ride.
On his part, the Deputy Director, Public Relations at the NRC, Mr Yakubu Mahmoud, said the three-month free train period was also to enable the corporation effectively determine the number of trains that would be run on the route when full commercial operation commence.