Nigerian government says linking Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail with Apapa Seaports is to create massive employment and enhance economic growth.
Apart from economic growth enhancement, the linkage of the rail line is to ease movement of passengers and cargoes from seaports which reduces traffic gridlock and prevent damages on the Nigeria roads.
The standard gauge rail project is in two phases as the Apapa seaports axis is the second phase of the project while the first phase is starting from Ebute Metta Mega Station to Ibadan.
Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who addressed Journalists during monthly inspection in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital said that the low tempo of work from Abeokuta axis was due to the recently concluded general election.Free ride suspension
Amaechi, while reacting to the suspension of free ride on Lagos-Abeokuta axis said the suspension was for safety purpose of passengers and to fast tract the completion of the project.
The transport minister, who appealed to Nigerians on the suspension of free ride, commended the contractor on the pace of civil works at the site, stating that the contractor handling the project had laid about 82 kilometres of the tracks.
According to him, in two weeks, they would get to kilometre 95 at Itori in Ogun while the track laying would get to Ibadan before May 29.
Fast tracking project
“We have directed the contractor to go back to the site after the general election and they have promised that before the rain starts they would have completed the civil works.
“Because of the election the contractor goes back to their country which is their company procedure.
“By March 28, they would have completed the civil work and get to kilometre 95 so that by first or second week of April the will be very close to Ibadan in track laying.
“After track laying the next thing is the stations and you could see that they have been working in the stations. We have altered the financial agreement sequel to the expansion of all the stations to accommodate some other things,” he added.
The minister noted that Nigeria’s economy would be improved with the linkage of seaports to the hinterland.