The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi on Tuesday took Journalists on assessment tour of the Lagos-Ibadan axis of the standard guage railway project
The Minister 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 by January 2019.
He disclosed that plan has been concluded for two new bridges to be constructed at Costain and a fly over at Jibowu before the demolition of the existing ones give way for the passage of railway linking Lagos, Ogun and Ibadan.
He stated that the Chinese Company handling the project has been urged to complete it in December, 2018 even though the contract is three years.
Rt. Hon. Amaechi told the audience that the Itori Gas pipeline has posed a challenge to the construction workers but that the Itori Gas pipeline relocation at Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State 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.
He noted that there is no way construction would be done without challenges in different forms and kinds which should be addressed and may attract cost overrun. He said if there is any credible cost overrun, it would be presented to the cabinet.
The Hon Minister announced also that two locomotives and 10 coaches came into the country and President Muhammadu Buhari will be commissioning it this December.
He reiterated, “The target is that by 2018 December, we should change the face of Lagos and change the face of the Nigerian railway.”