The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi has directed CCECC, the contractor handling the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, to complete the Iju-Agbado section of the project in two weeks. The minister gave the directive on Thursday while inspecting the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan rail project from Lagos-Abeokuta and Ibadan sections.
He wanted the Chinese firm to speed up ongoing work between Iju in Lagos and Agbado in Ogun, due to the high volume of passengers. He said he would come for a test-run on January 14, to ensure that the sections were completed.
“The problem the contractor has now is the civil work between Agbado and Iju which is critical to me because I don’t think passengers should go and board train from Agbado.
“I believe that it is important that the closer we are to Lagos, the better for the rail. That is what we are battling now because I want them to use the same speed noticed in some sections in the construction of Agbado area to Iju.
“They want us to flag off from Agbado, but I don’t want because I feel Iju will be more appropriate to flag off and they said they will be ready with that axis in two weeks. I think we should get to Iju because it will not be wise to drive from Lagos to Agbado to board train,” he said.
According to him, the slow pace of work witnessed on the project was due to inadequate equipment and manpower. “They argued that lack of equipment was responsible for the pace of work because the equipments were not on-the-shelf equipment that can just be picked and paid for.
“What is causing the delay on the Agbado to Iju axis is equipment related.
“The equipment have to be applied from overseas, we will have to wait for the processing and then ship them down and if we wait for those equipment, we might be finishing the job when the equipment will arrive.
“We are expecting 30 passenger coaches mixed with locomotive wagons, 300 wagons and two sets of Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) made up of ten coaches each and two motorcars will arrive Lagos before the construction work is completed,” he said.
Speaking on the ongoing Itakpe-Warri test-run, the minister said it would extend to May after which it would commence commercial activities.