The pace of construction work on the 156km rail line from Lagos to Ibadan has reduced raising concerns about the completion deadline set for April 2020.
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi who visited the project site Friday on his monthly inspection tweets “I noticed that work has slowed down along the Iju-Agege axis, and I’ve directed that the contractors put in more work and get the track to Ikeja ASAP (as soon as possible)”.
The contractor, China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC) has also not completed work on the 10 railway stations along the standard gauge rail line.
The Minister who insists that the railway stations must be completed by the end of January 2020 has summoned the contractor to an emergency meeting in his Ministry to address the issues affecting work on the project.
It will be recalled that CCECC as part of its corporate social responsibility is also constructing the $50 million University of Transportation in Daura, Katsina State and would also deliver another specialised university in Rivers State.
Amaechi had at the ground breaking ceremony in Daura on December 2, 2019 said the Company was prevailed upon to construct the institutions following the huge railway contracts it has been awarded by the Nigerian Government.
In his words “They were not so keen at spending their funds to build a university for Nigeria until I refused to sign the contract for the Lagos to Ibadan railway. I insisted that I will only sign if three things were done.The first thing is to take our children to China and train them by giving them first degree in railway technology… The second is that, if we must sign the purchase of locomotives in China, they must build a factory where we can construct for coaches, locomotives and wagon and today at Kajola that factory is being constructed. Finally, I insisted on the University of Transportation and today we are here for the groundbreaking of the University and for all we are grateful to CCECC and the Chinese government”.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government on November 30, 2019 began free train services to test-run the section of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line. The free services which will be for a period of four months ending in March 2020 will take-off from Fagba in Lagos State and terminate in Ibadan, Oyo State.
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