Aminat Isah, Abuja
The federal government has revealed that the total contract sum of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project is US$1, 581,847,371.00 as against the US$2billion alleged and that the cost index/km is US$4.09million as against the US$13.6million as alleged by a section of the media.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Fabiu Zakari, disclosed this while speaking with members of the Press in his office in Abuja on Wednesday, and said the Lagos-Ibadan railway project is being executed in the spirit of transparency and accountability of which the present administration stands for.
According to him, “the clarification became imperative following insinuations by some media houses that the project was inflated over and above a non-existent one in Ghana.”
He added that information has it that at best the said Ghanaian project is at conceptual stage as there are neither construction designs nor cost estimates.
Similarly, he said that to give credence to the fact that there is no basis for comparism as raised by the allegations, the Ghanaian government has since refuted the publication, describing it as “containing a lot of factual inaccuracies.”
He further explained that the Lagos-Ibadan railway is actually 386km since it is a double track rail line as against the 156km alleged which is just the distance from Ebute Meta (Lagos) and Ibadan terminal stations only.
He explained that railway project does not depend solely on the distance between terminal points but rely on various factors which include but not limited to terrain, core operation accessories, land acquisition and compensation, earthworks, bridges, culverts and stations.
He further said, due Diligence was followed in the award of the contract as the project was approved by Federal Executive Council after a Certificate of No Objection by the Bureau of Public Procurement was issued.
It would be recalled that the first segment of the project was approved in 2012 while the current administration approved the second segment to link Ebute Meta (Lagos) to Apapa port complex to ease the perennial traffic gridlock that has defied solutions.
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