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Minister gives updates on ongoing rail projects

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Minister gives updates on ongoing rail projectsThe Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has revealed that plans are on the way for the approval of two standard gauge railway project contracts by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

This is as the Lagos-Ibadan axis of the Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge railway project being handled by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation is nearing completion.

The Minister made the disclosure on Wednesday at the Ibadan railway station during an inspection tour of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line to ascertain the level of work done on the various stations on corridor of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project.

According to Amaechi, “the two contracts: Port Harcourt-Bonny- Maiduguri in the southern part of the country and the Kano-Maradi standard gauge rail line in Northern part of the country will be the best assignment for the Ministry of Transport if awarded by the federal executive council, while a loan is also being pursued for the contract that has been awarded for the Lagos to Calabar rail, with hope that the Ibadan-Kano rail line commences before the year end.”

Speaking on the progress noticed on the Lagos-Ibadan, Amaechi expressed that although there is a huge noticeable improvement on the project, as there have been changes since the last time he inspected the railway line.

He noted that the station at Olodo has improved along with the Ebutemetta, but however noted that he was not satisfied with the state of the Ibadan station, hence the
project still fails to meet his target for the inspection.

“The contractors didn’t meet my target for this inspection. My target was by September 15, they will finish the minor stations. But they gave an excuse that because of COVID, they don’t have enough engineers on site. As for me, I want this job done because I want to move out of Lagos.

“By end of October, they should finish the minor stations and by the end of December, they will finish the three major stations excluding Apapa but we are insisting that a special task force is set up to complete it within the same time as the others.”

The Minister added that there has been changes since the last time he inspected the railway line. He said the station at Olodo has improved along with the Ebutemetta. He however noted that he was not satisfied with the state of the Ibadan station.

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