Minister of Transportation,Rt. Rotimi Amaechi has stated that with the current pace at which contractors are working on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line, the April 2020 project deadline is achievable, even as he assured that the test-run of the train would commence by the end of November. Amaechi stated this during an inspection tour at the project site in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital. “We are no longer giving ourselves the time; the contractors are the ones giving us time. By April next year, we will be out of this place. There is huge improvement compared to the last time we were here.
“The contractors have assured us that by December 20 this year, the laying of tracks would have gotten to Ibadan station. This means that the focus will no longer be on the tracks, but on the completion of the stations, communication and signalling and once we achieve this, it means we are out of Ibadan. “They are eager to complete the stations, but the constraint at the moment is that the equipment have not arrived from China and our argument is that they should get some things from Nigeria. They are expecting pipes and other things and they requested that we should give them one or two months to complete the stations.
“They equally, wanted to import glasses and doors from China, but we have to put pressure on them to buy those glasses and doors in Nigeria in other to quicken the time with which they would install,” he said The minister noted that the completion of the Lagos-end of the project is a huge task as construction of new flyovers and overhead bridges were progressing steadily. “It is a big problem. We are dealing with urban renewal. We are building new flyovers, we are also building overhead bridges and under passes, we are dealing with pipes and lots more. “We pray not to experience these challenges in Ibadan to Kano segment of the project. Don’t forget that there are two contracts here.
The first is Ebute-Meta to Ibadan, then, I came up with the idea of extending the project to the seaport, which is a bit challenging. “They can get up to Ebute-Meta in the next one month, but to get there without getting to Apapa seaport would amount to not achieving much because we need to clear the gridlock in Apapa and to achieve that, we need to get the tracks into the seaport; that way, cargoes will be loaded into wagons and transported up to Ibadan,” Amaechi added.