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FG reveals date of commencement of Kano-Maradi rail line construction

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The Federal government has revealed that processes are ongoing to fast track the commencement of the recently awarded $1.96 billion Kano-Maradi standard gauge railline construction project.

The Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi disclosed this in Ibadan during an inspection tour of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project at the weekend.

According to Amaechi, the construction work on the Kano-Maradi railway corridor will commence by February. 2021 following the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project which is close to being completed in line with the January 2021 completion deadline.

” Kano-Maradi is at the stage of negotiation, we are fast tracking it. They (China Civil Engineering Construction Company) are doing front end engineering even before the loan, we believe that the front end engineering would have ended before the end of January, so we have between October to January window.

” But we have told them we can’t wait till the end of January for them to start. They should start now to acquire right of way, pay compensation and start clearing the right of way so that they can prepare.

” They (contractors) have commenced the Front-end engineering process to ascertain the technical requirements, main cost of the execution phase and evaluate the potential risk of the projects which would be ready by January ending,” explained Amaechi

Speaking on the safety communities surrounding the railway, Amaechi said the government has completed all the over passes and under passes as a measure against accident accident occurrence, but would hold Lagos state government liable in the case of any accident case if it fails to complete it part of the project , while the federal government would also be liable to Lagos state government if it fails to complete it own part of the project.

The NRC Board Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa, said NRC had a meeting with the management of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and agreed on areas where overhead crossing and bridges would be constructed in the course of the project.

“We agreed that some bridges and overhead crossing will be constructed by the Federal Government while others will be done by state governments.

“For instance, we constructed new two line bridges at Costain and brought down the old ones to enable us have access.

“As we are coming, you can see that passengers’ movement are under the track, while in some places we could see overhead bridges from Lagos to Ibadan in consideration of human and goods trafficking along the corridors,” Musa pointed out

The Director of Railway, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mr Babakobi Muhammed also reiterated that the ministry officials held meetings with transportation ministries of Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states to ensure safe corridor for the train and stated that the ministry had made provisions for pedestrian crossing to various ministries, while government had approved, while the locations was being worked on.

The Managing Director of Nigeria Railway Cooperation (NRC) Fidelis Okhiria on his part assured that commercial activities will resume on the Lagos-Ibadan railway by November to help ameliorate the challenges of gridlock that commuters encounter on the Lagos-Ibadan express road. Adding that the cooperation would no longer be operating free train ride when operation commences.

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