Ibadan-Kano Standard gauge rail project to gulp N2.3 trillion

David Adekunle and Shiktra Shalangwu, Ibadan

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The Nigerian government says Ibadan-Kano standard gauge rail project will gulp 2.3 trillion Naira as its commencement awaits China Exim bank loan approval.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said President Muhammadu Buhari was eager to see the project starting  because of its viability and thirty million tons of cargoes it would transport.

Amaechi explained that without completing Ibadan to Kano, Lagos to Ibadan would not only solve the gridlock at seaports because transporting goods,services and personnel was pertinent along that corridor.

He said Nigeria needs about 36 billion Naira to fix East West Coast line, as well as seeking funds for Lagos to Calabar as port Harcourt to Maiduguri costs about 13 billion dollars.

Lagos- Ibadan rail guage
According to him, in Lagos -Ibadan why the pace of work is slowing down is as a result of lack of funds, this is caused by the dissolution of cabinet and nobody can sign internal payment certificate IPC, but as soon as the payment is made, full work would commence at optimal level.

“The reason Agege work could not continue was as a result of under and overpasses because solution needed to be found in that area to allow train move faster. Don’t forget that the standard gauge rail operates at high speed and we can’t allow killings to happen in that corridor.we are creating passes both under and over.

“They should have completed this project in December, but the Contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC pointed out some challenges of not signing Payment Certificate earlier which have slowed down the pace of work.

“We have told them to look for raw materials here in Nigeria,so that there won’t be a need to import from China and the cost would be cheaper and it will also grow our economy.

“Stations construction are ongoing, the moment they are completed, train would commence operations and commercial activities follows immediately” the Transport Minister explained.

L-R MD Nigerian Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria, Chairman board,Alhassan Ibrahim,Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi during the inspection.

New ground breaking
The minister assured Nigerians that they have agreed on two major ground breaking ceremonies at Kajola in Ogun and Daura, Kastina States.

While Kajola ground breaking manufacturing factory begins in September, Daura University of transportation would commence in October this year.

Mr Amaechi believes Kajola factory would begin manufacturing of wagons for now and will later progresses to Coaches while Nigerians understudies them.

About sixty Nigerians are currently studying in China,another sixty would go while the remaining thirty takes queue.

“Young Nigerians are under training and when they return, they would come to practicalize. Electrical, Mechanical and Civil Engineering are the same all over the World, the only thing they could learn or understudy is machine because they are not our technology.we have agreed that not only synergy but to train our people,” he said.

Concessioning
He added that railway services cannot be concessioned to private individuals because of huge capital it’s involved and nobody can afford the fund.

 

 

Confidence Okwuchi