The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi on Thursday said the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line will end the Apapa gridlock.
Amaechi said this while inspecting construction works at the various sections of the rail construction work at Ijoko, Kajola, Papalanto and Odeda in Ogun State.
“As you can see that the narrow gauge is existing, but it is not efficient. The moment we fix this project then, those goods will be transferred to the rail and the traffic logjam will disappear on the road.
“We need to push the contractor to work faster. The pressure is more of economic than political because once the project gets to Iju in Ogun, the next pressure is to get to the seaports. When the rail lines get to the seaports, most of these goods will be on the rail, thereby reducing pressure on the roads,” Amaechi said.
He said that there was improvement in the level of works done on Abeokuta axis of the project, adding that there was challenge on Agbado-Iju area.
The minister said he recently signed a N42 billion contract with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) to get more equipment to fast track the pace of work on the rail line.
“You can see that there is an improvement from Iju to Abeokuta, but from Iju to Agbado toward Lagos is where we have little challenge on civil work.
“I believe the closer we get to Lagos, the better for the rail; that is why we are battling the contractor to tell us when the work will get to Lagos axis in full.
“There is a huge improvement up to Abeokuta from Iju and then, we also want them to get the same speed in the construction to Agbado-Iju toward Lagos corridor.
“Railway construction is not like frying an egg. It is not easy though the contract is three years. We are just doing a year plus but we assure that it won’t exceed the scheduled period.
“We are just pushing them to hasten the work for the benefit of people, not for political reason, but more of economic reasons,” he added.
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