Request for Approval of Two Railway Contracts Has Been Sent to Cabinet—Says Minister

Inspects Stations on Lagos-Ibadan Railway Line

By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News

IBADAN: As the Lagos- Ibadan railway contract winds down, the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi has disclosed that the request for approval of two contracts has been sent to cabinet.

The contracts are for the Port-Harcourt-Bonny- Maiduguri corridor, as well as the Kano-Maradi line which passes through Kano, Dutse, Kazaure, Daura, Katsina, Jibya then Maradi.

He also noted that they are also pursuing the loan for the contract which has been awarded for the Lagos to Calabar axis, adding also that they expect Ibadan to Kano to commence before the end of 2020.

The Minister who made these known when he inspected train stations on the Lagos- Ibadan railway corridor, said that there was considerable improvement in Olodo and Ebute Metta stations but not much has been done on the Ibadan and APapa stations.

He, however, noted that the Contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has given target of when the major and minor stations will be completed.

“They have given us the following target— end of September, three stations will be ready, end of October, all the seven minor stations will be ready, end of December, everything will be ready. They are still keeping to the target of December.

“The only one they are afraid of is Apapa station because they started very late. But I am insisting that Apapa should be completed at the same time as the rest and I have told them to set up a Task Force just for Apapa alone and I will come by the end of September to see for myself how far they have gone”, he stated.

While speaking on the security of lives on the tracks, he said that there is an agreement between him and the Lagos state Governor to ensure enforcement of law and order as well as to ensure that people don’t hawk on the tracks.

“There should be enforcement of law, people should go to jail for breaking the law. Next thing is, we are fencing the Lagos corridor. In some places, it’s about cows, here it’s about human beings.

“Look at the tracks—the tracks are like old tracks.  Some pass faeces, some cook, some trade on that same track and run restaurants”.

Ebute Metta Station

While speaking on provisions for level crossing gate on the lagos corridor, he said that there are 11 over passes and one under pass at Agege. “We will do six, Lagos state government wil do six. We’ve done one, Lagos state has done one remaining 10, and we are constructing as we arw working so that both cars and human beings will have access across the rail without having to go on the rail. 

“Like where the accident happened, we shut it down and we are building a new gate across”, he added.

On the alleged attack of kaduna train, he noted that it is not true that the train was attacked in Abuja. “Leave these social media propagandists. Young  boys threw stones at the train near Kubwa and broke a glass and they stopped and arrested them.

The Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr. Fidet Okhiria, said that they are in discussions with the contractors on skeletal operations on the Lagos-Ibadan Axis.

“We are discussing with the contractor, we can’t just move to the tracks. The rolling stock are already here but we have to ensure safety first. As long as they are working there, we have to collaborate with them to ensure proper caution. 

“We are meeting with them. There is no date yet. We fixed a date before but they came up with some challenges Because this time, it’s commercial, not free. So, if we say we are getting to Ibadan by 10:00 Am it has to be 10:00 Am. We are discussing seriously with them and sooner or  later, we will be out again to give a specific date”, he ended.

The stations inspected were; Ebute Metta Kajola, Papalanto, Olodo, Ido, Ikeja, Agege, Iju, Agbado and Ibadan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *