The federal government has on Friday February 8, 2019 flagged off the Lagos to Abeokuta axis of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project for free passengers ride.
The free train ride programme was disclosed by the The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi Amechi during the flag off in company of the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and other dignitaries.
In his welcome address, Hon Amaechi stated that the train will start running free of charge from Saturday February 9, morning, afternoon and evening to convey passengers, as work continues from Iju to Ebute Metta down to Apapa.
The Minister also said that the rail line is the third standard gauge in Nigeria and stations will be built and completed one year from now, urging the people to vote in the All Progressives Congress (APC), for continuity of the projects.
On some challenges facing the community, he urged the contractor in charge, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), to ensure that everyone have access to their village and their community.
Prof. Wole Soyinka in his goodwill message, expressed contentment with the project, adding that government should do more.
Also speaking at the flag off in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, stated that the project will help Nigeria to be among the emerging market and that there cannot be a developed nation without infrastructure. He also said that the project will yield benefits to the state such as socio-economic development, take burdens off the road and spur development.
“What is being done will revolutionize Nigeria, as the time one would have spent will be reduced. It will take 29 mins from Lagos to Abeokuta and it has not been like this since the creation of the country”, he said.
Senator Amosun noted that the benefits of the railway project are numerous, there will be socio-economic development of Nigeria, the rail will take burdens off the roads which have already gone bad due to overload and it will help to improve the economy and industries, as it will be easy to move goods.
“Time will be shortened and the hassles will be lessened and, it will create employment to the young graduates, artisans and others, as about 95 per cent of the workers are Nigerians and they are getting technology transfer”.
The Governor, who reiterated that the railway will spur development wherever it passes, however said, that it is not about politics to him but reality, adding that any body that did good deserves to be returned.
“The president is working his talk and bringing back the good old days. For me, it is not about campaigns, our achievements will speak for us”, he said.
Among the guest were members of the National Assembly, Traditional Rulers, some Ogun State Commissioners and other notable members of the community. The Ogun State Cultural troupe gave a good performance to the relish of professor Wole Soyinka and other dignitaries.