The Federal Government announced its commitment to ensure that the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan rail construction would be completed and its operations would commence by January 2019.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, gave the assurance after the monthly meeting of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project steering committee at the Ibadan Railway Yard, Oyo State.
Following the level of progress of the work and gradual implementation of the carefully considered solutions by the Federal Government to completely tackle the challenges ranging from sewage pipe, water pipe, gas pipe to oil pipe that are obstructing the work on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line the government declares that the project would be completed.
Amaechi was quoted in a statement issued in Abuja by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Yetunde Sonaike, saying, “we hope this project will be completed within the life span of construction. Nigerians are putting us under immense pressure.
“This contract is for three years and we are doing it within one year and two months. Our target is December 2018, but at most in January 2019, Nigerians will start to enjoy the dividends of democracy.”
He noted that based on the present challenges, being experienced on the project, a committee was set up chaired by the Board Chairman of the NRC, Usman Abubakar, with representatives from the Nigerian Army, NRC, Lagos State Government, the Nigerian National Petroleum corporation and CCECC as members.
Amaechi added that the committee would ensure that all the challenges were resolved, noting that the stakeholders knew that December 2018 was the deadline for the completion of the project.
The minister revealed that the government is working on a proposal to acquire an alternative land to build a railway station in Abeokuta instead of paying N2.8bn as compensation for the present proposed location.
He also made it known that there is no alternative to the Jibowu and Costain bridges that would be demolished, noting that the federal government is working together with the Lagos State Government to see how to reduce heavy vehicular movement on that axis when work finally commences.