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Lagos-Ibadan rail: Osinbajo to test-run Lagos-Abeokuta rail

… As FG fixes anti-theft rail lines

By Favour Nnabugwu

Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, will in January 2019, inspect the Lagos-Ibadan rail project even as government has installed anti-theft track against theft.

Giving the hint during the monthly inspection of the on-going Lagos-Ibadan rail project, the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, said the Vice-President was expected to embark on the inspection of Lagos-Abeokuta rail project in the first week of January 2019.

Amaechi said the rail-line would have been completed by the end of December 2018 up to Abeokuta when Prof. Osinbajo would come and inspect the volume of work done so far.

Workers at the construction site of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line

“We are gradually coming to the end of the project. Today, we are six kilometres from Abeokota. I have been assured that we will be able to ride from Idu to Abeokuta by the first week of January. The idea is to bring the Vice-President and some ministers to join us in the ride.

“I will tell CCECC to concentrate on the track for now by focusing on one rail track to the end because work will be faster that way while they can continue with the other lane. When one is in use, work will continue on the second lane. Building two at the same time slows construction period,” Amaechi stated. Speaking further on the gains of the project, the Minister said no fewer than 9,000 Nigerians are on the payroll of the counterpart funding of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project of the Federal Government and the Chinese contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC.

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Amaechi told newsmen that Nigerians working on the project include engineers and casual workers who are well over 9,000.

“While we congratulate the Chinese contractor for their technology. We are now saying Nigerians must learn  how to build good roads and railway for ourselves like other countries. We cannot continue to rely on other people’s technology. The earlier we learn that, the better for us,“ he noted.

Commenting on the man-made challenges of the project, the Minister said vandalisation of bolts and brazes on the rail-lines, particularly on Kaduna axis is quite alarming.

He said the government and the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, had to device means to prevent further theft by procuring anti-theft rail lines.

Also, the House Committee Chairman on Lands & Transportation, Hon. Jubril Abdulmumuni said he had to join in the inspection with his committee members to inspect the project and be able to relate to the House about the volume of work done.

“I must confess with what we have seen today, we are very happy but my only disappointment is that what is going on here is under publicized, he added.”

Abdulmumuni said, “I just told my colleagues that I will personally go and see Mr President and tell him what we have witnessed and Nigerians should know that a lot of work is going on here.”

He said “When ever you have this magnitude of work going on, you must have issues but then with what is going on here, the Minister deserves some commendations with his team. From our side, we will continue to support the Ministry to see that the project comes to completion. “

 


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