The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Thursday revealed that work on the Apapa corridor of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge project would commence next week.
Amaechi, who spoke to journalists after a strategic meeting with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, said the measure is aimed at bringing permanent solution to the perennial traffic gridlock in the axis.
He pointed out that following the commencement of work on the N1.5billion project being handled by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), the contractor encountered many challenges on the Lagos corridor.
“You would recall that the Federal Government had commenced construction of the Lagos-Ibadan railway and the focus was more on the Ibadan and Abeokuta axis because we had challenges in Lagos which included utilities and not much with the communities… We are grateful to all the communities from Lagos to Ibadan.
“However, we have utility challenges both gas pipes and water and beyond the gas pipes, we also have challenges with bridges to either build or demolish. I remember when we said we wanted to demolish the Costain Bridge, everybody screamed and we had to invite the Lagos Governor to assist us; he took us there and promised that he would pay the compensation.
“I like the fact that the Lagos State Government is also contributing to this whole efforts and so what we have come here to do is to ensure that there is a win-win situation and the Lagos Governor has been very cooperative.
“He cooperated all the way from the beginning till now and what we have decided is that CCECC should therefore move back to Lagos for construction to commence immediately in Lagos because we are insisting that by December, we should complete the Lagos-Ibadan Railway,” Amaechi said.
He said in addition to the rail projects, the Federal Government was also working on the roads, saying that the combination of the projects would facilitate seamless movement of cargos from Apapa.
Ambode commended the Federal Government for its decision to move the Apapa corridor of the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project saying it would facilitate cargo movement from Lagos to other parts of the country.
According to him, “Lagosians would recollect that in the last three weeks, we have had issues with the Apapa gridlock and two times, Mr Vice President had actually visited Lagos and promised that a lot of remedies would take place.
“We want to use this platform to say a big thank you to Mr President and the Federal Executive Council for approving the reconstruction of the Tin Can-Apapa-Oshodi Expressway up to the Toll Gate which was done yesterday. This is in continuation of our efforts at finding permanent solutions to what has been happening in the Apapa axis.”