Heavy downpour has delayed the completion of the remaining 19 kilometers of Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway tracks from Iju to Ebute-Metta.
The contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), had been given November deadline to complete the laying of tracks along that corridor.
Addressing Newsmen during the monthly routine inspection of the rail line in Ogun State, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi said; ”I am optimistic that the soil will be ready for track laying before next month inspection but if weather related excuse remains, there is nothing that can be done, since rain cannot be stopped.”
”On November 30th, 2019, we will commence test run but the issue is that we want to start it from Ebute Meta, suburb of Lagos, but they are saying Iju will be ready.
“As for the stations, It was good that they changed all their policies. Bringing all materials from China; they are ready to work. They are waiting for materials from China but they have said that all materials will be gotten locally. Why do they have to import doors, Windows from China? We have eight minor stations and four major stations,” Mr Amaechi stated.
The Transport minister explained that Nigeria and Chinese Company have signed an agreement on Kajola factory, and part of the what they agreed was to produce most of the materials they needed locally.
He said;“another agreement was that they should start assembling wagons and after five years, they would start producing wagons, coaches and locomotives after ten years.”
“We are not contributing anything to the establishment of the factory and the transport university. It is their own investment,” the stressed.
Mr Amaechi added that; ”the assembling company would belong to the Chinese and the most important thing is that it will create employment and improve the economy of Nigeria which is our target at the end of the day.”