Lagos-Ibadan Standard Rail gauge form work ready in September

David Adekunle and Shiktra Shalangwa

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The Nigerian government says the on-going Lagos-Ibadan Standard rail gauge form work from Iju to Abeokuta will be one hundred percent ready in September, 2018.

Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi who told the journalists at Adunbu Papalanto area of Ogun State gave assurance that the contractor would increase the pace of the work to meet the delivery date.

Amaechi said that laying of track would not be a problem as long as form work has been completed, ten kilometers tracks can be laid in a day without any delay.

According to him, about 12 Kilometers tracks had been laid so far and there are no impediments that could cause the delay apart from rain which beyond the control of human.

Mr Amaechi said the ministry had challenge with the Lagos part of the contract initially which has been resolved to pave way for improvement.

He said the Ministry of Transportation is sending a letter to the State union insisting that work must continue every day to ensure improvement.

The Minister also said there were challenges with the communities which have now been resolved and he was optimistic that the project would be completed.

“They agreed with us in China that they lay 1000 kilometers per year, this is 156 kilometers so they should deliver. We had problems in Abeokuta with the location, in Abado and Abiave we had problems with the communities not ready to contribute land but now it has been resolved,” he said.

Work assiduously
He said the contractors are being monitored to work assiduously so that the track laying could be faster.

The minister who expressed dissatisfaction over the level of the job explained that the contractor does not need extension of time as the project agreement was three years and 18 months.

“Nigeria has fulfilled her counterpart funding of 72 billion Naira from 1.6 billion dollars  project and immediately the Lagos -Ibadan standard rail gauge is completed, Ibadan-kano commences without delay. 

All impediments in Lagos area have been taken care of apart from fund needed to settle the affected people. For the gas and water pipelines in Ebute meta and Apapa, casement would be built around  those areas since those areas cannot be demolished. 

The constituted  committee headed by the Chairman of Railway Corporation, Usman Abubakar to work with Lagos State government on how solution could be found to the impediments  to fast track Ebute Meta to Iju has tremendously done work” he said.

He stated that the contractor had employed 6 to 10 indigent engineers with a mandate to train Nigerians girls and boys as Nigerian government would not hesitate to pay up their training allowances.

Lateefah Ibrahim