Ibadan-Kano rail awaits loan approval

By David Adekunle & Shiktra Shalangwa, Ibadan

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Lagos-Ibadan railway project

The Nigerian government says work will begin on Ibadan-Kano standard guage rail line as soon as loan is approved by China Nexim bank to complete Lagos-Kano project.

The government also plan to demolish part of APM terminal and Flour Mill Nigeria structures in Apapa over the construction of Lagos- Ibadan standard guage railway.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said this while addressing journalists during an inspection of the ongoing project alongside his state minister, Gbemisola Saraki.

According to him,”the government is engaging with the management of the flour producing company for compensation to allow the demolition.”

The transport Minister identified urbanisation, water, gas, fuel pipes and bridges between Iju to Apapa axis in Lagos as factor militating against the fast pace of work along that corridor.

”The standard gauge railway construction around fuel pipes because of escravos are highly considered as there may be fuel scarcity in the country and we can’t afford to shut it down,” Amaechi stated.

The Minister expressed displeasure over the slow pace of work by the company handling the construction, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC, stressing that the work would be more faster now sequel to the release of some funds which they claimed government owed them before the dissolution of the last administration.

”They have slow down so badly that we need to get them to go back to that same speed they were before the last administration was dissolved. They claim that at the end of last government, we are owing them some money. The Nigerian government has not given approval for extra jobs. CCECC statement is not enough excuse because we will still give them that approval.

“Now, we have paid them on Friday. The cabinet and the President have approved the payment of additional work and others. So there is no excuse, we need to vacate this place on time…We have to get loan for Ibadan to Kano. We can start Kano-Kaduna railway project and at the same Ibadan-Ilorin to quickly complete the entire projects,” he added.

On the manufacturing factory for Coaches, locomotives production which is to be situated at Kajola in Ogun state, he said a date has been given by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo but promised to notify everybody when the flag off would commence.

He said; “They’ve said that, if we have not given that approval, how do they know that the cabinet will approve it. So, nobody wants to put their money when they’re not sure the cabinet will approve it.”

The Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki who was also on the inspection train expressed enthusiasm over the work that has been done within 4 years of president Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere