The Lagos-Ibadan Standard Guage Rail line should be ready by December, considering the progress of works on the construction of rail stations by the contractor. Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation has said.
Amaechi gave the assurance while briefing newsmen in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, at the end of his monthly routine inspection tour of the project.The Minister started the inspection tour from Ebute-Meta in Lagos, accompanied by the management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
The track laying from Ebute-Meta in Lagos to Ibadan in Oyo State, had been completed, the 10 stations along the line were at various levels of completion.
Amaechi said that there had been some improvements and progress in the construction of railway stations along the line. He said that in some of the 10 stations along the line, the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), had finished doors, windows, roofing, flooring, ceiling and lighting.
“Olodo (Station) is near completion. At Kajola, what is outstanding is just painting. There are changes at Ebute-Meta. There was improvement in Kajola, Olodo, and Ebute-Meta.
“They have given us the target; by the end of September, three stations will be ready.
“By the end of October, all the minor stations will be ready, that is six stations. By the end of December, every station will be ready.
“The only station they (CCECC) are worried about is Apapa (Station) because they started very late, but I insisted that Apapa should be completed at the same time as the rest,” he said.
The minister said he had assured the contractor of the provision of a task force to help the speedy completion of Apapa Station, adding that he would come to assess the work by the end of September. He expressed belief that everything would be put in place before the end of December for movement to passengers and goods.
“Timeline has not changed. Did they meet my target? The answer is No. My target was before we come on Sept.15 for inspection, they should have finished all the minor stations,” he added. According to him, the excuse given by the contractor was that they didn’t have enough engineers to supervise because of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The same engineers supervising Agbado supervise Agege that is slowing them down. For me, that is not an excuse. “I want this work done quickly because I want to move out of this place. “Their position is that by next week, more engineers will be coming; we expect them to isolate for seven days and work will commence. Once, work commences, they will be faster,” the minister added.