The Federal Government has ordered CCECC, the construction company handling the Lagos-Ibadan railway project two weeks ultimatum to complete the Iju-Agbado axis of the project.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi, Amaechi gave the order during the routine inspection of the ongoing railway project which commenced from the iju-alagbado Lagos axis and terminated at the Ibadan axis of the project.
He added that, “once it is done, there will be no more logjam, businesses will grow which and create more employment.”
Amaechi, after observing the slow pace of work said the early completion of the Iju-Agbado axis would give room for early commencement of the Apapa axis of the project and help put an end to the problem of lockjam in Apapa seaport in Lagos state.
He further said that the major challenge at the Lagos seaport was not clearing but inefficient rail line, which can be remedied with the construction of a a standard rail gauge.
“Once they finish Iju, I will push them to go to the seaport. Once that is done, there will be no more logjam and then businesses will grow which will give room to more employment”, the Minister said.
Amaechi also noted that there is an appreciable level of improvement when compared to the last inspection, but explained that the slow pace of work was due to the scarce nature of the equipment needed to make the project completion faster which are not readily available on shelves and need to be ordered for from overseas, processed and then ship down, taking quite a long time.
According to him, “Getting to Abeokuta, you will see that there is an improvement, the problem they(the contractor) have now is the civil works between Agbado and Iju which is critical to me because I don’t think passengers should go to Agbado to pick the train.
“I believe that the closer we are to Lagos, the better for the rail, that is what we are battling now. There is a huge improvement.”
“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.
The Minister hinted that the contractor want the ministry to flag off from Agbado but it doesn’t want because Iju will be more appropriate to flag off and they said they will be ready with that axis in two weeks but I think we should get to Iju because it will not be wise to drive from Lagos to Agbado to board train,”
Speaking on the arrival of coaches, the minister said 30 passenger coaches mixed with locomotive wagons, 300 wagons and two sets of DMU made up of ten coaches each and two motorcars will arrive Lagos before the construction work is completed.
Amaechi also said the federal government will continue the Itakpe-Warri rail till May after which it would commence commercial activities