Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, has assured that the 157 kilometres Lagos-Ibadan railway line project would be fully completed and officially commissioned by the federal government in June 2021.
Amaechi, who made the disclosure during the monthly inspection tour of the train stations and terminals to ascertain the progress of the work done in preparation of the commissioning, told newsmen that the project is currently 89 to 90 per cent completed and would be officially commissioned in June at a soon-to-be announced date.
Speaking on the level of work done regarding the movement of cargo from the seaport, he explained that there are two contracts (Ebute Meta to Ibadan and Ebute Meta to Apapa seaport) which are still undergoing construction.
“There are two challenges they (contractors) are talking about, the first one is a temporary challenge which they think they can resolve within one month, but the entire thing that will take the rail line into the seaport may take another four months to six months,” he said.
The minister further disclosed that the project is also aimed at ensuring the movement of cargo from the seaport using the train as a means to decongest the ports.
“You can actually take a train to the seaport, but that is not just the end, we want to make sure that we are in position to move cargos from the seaport straight to the train, instead of transporting them a little further to put them on the train”
During the inspection of the various terminals and stations including; Apapa, Ebute Metta, Agege, Agbado, Kajola, Papalanto, Abeokuta, Olodo, Omi-Adio and Ibadan, where he interfaced with the team of project supervisors, engineers and the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) contractors, the minister charged the contractors to employ more Nigerians in the construction of the various train stations and terminals to speed up work.
Addressing newsmen at the Ibadan train terminal, Amaechi said the fittings in some of the terminals inspected were yet to be completed. He also observed that the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) didn’t comply with the government’s instruction to expand some of the parking areas, while some facilities were yet to be installed. He, however, assured that the challenges observed in the course of the inspections would be resolved before commissioning.