Lagos-Ibadan railway to be completed in December – Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, on Thursday said that the Federal Government in its effort to ensure the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan railway by December  decided  that the company handling the project should move to site and commence work immediately.

The minister made this known while briefing newsmen on his meeting with the Lagos state Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, in Lagos House on Thursday.

The construction company handling the project is the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC.

Amaechi also disclosed that the FG was working on two types of railway, “the narrow gauge which is already on and the standard gauge and they are emptying into the Apapa Sea port.”

He said that the construction work  would involve expanding the already existing  two mega stations which are located in  Apapa and Ebute Metta, as they are too small.

He said: “We are going to have a Mall and Hotel in the two stations, but we are looking for investors. So we should have two very big stations in Lagos, one in Apapa and the other in Ebute Metta; then Abeokuta and Ibadan.

Amaechi also said that the FG on Wednesday awarded a contract on the Tin Can-Oworonshoki-Ojota road and that Dangote was doing one other part of it.

“What we are trying to do there is to get good roads to evacuate cargoes, but it will be faster with the rail. So while we are working hard to make sure that the rail is delivered by this year ending, FG has also awarded a contract to deal with the road from Apapa and Tin Can to enable us evacuate cargoes freely and that is an addition to the rail,” Amaechi said.

The Minister commended Gov Ambode whom he said has been very cooperative from the beginning till now, even as praised the communities from Lagos to Ibadan that allowed the FG to use their land for the project, what he called a win-win situation.

Also addressing the correspondents, Ambode thanked the FG and the Federal Executive Council, FEC for approving the reconstruction of the Tin Can-Apapa-Oshodi expressway up to the toll gate on Wednesday.

“It is in continuaton of finding a permanent solution to what has been happening in Apapa especially in the past two weeks which has seen the Vice president visiting Lagos twice in the past two weeks and promising remedies to the situation.”

Ambode further thanked the Ministers of Transport and Works “because the road construction that is commencing in Lagos next week is actually from Apapa Port up to Ibadan.

“That means we are having a two pronged approach to be able to cart away cargoes from Lagos to other parts of the country.

“We reinterate the commitment to collaborate with the FG as a State Government to make sure that we reduce the sufferings of Lagosians and I am happy that we have come out of this meeting stronger together with the FG and transport ministry to make sure that this particular rail project is delivered in the next 12 months,”Ambode said.