Arrangements have been concluded by the Federal Government to ensure the completion of the ongoing construction of Lagos-Ibadan railway line and station by the end of 2018 and commissioned by January 2019.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, stated this while inspecting the ongoing railway construction project on Tuesday in Lagos.
“Don’t forget the contract is for three years, but we are chasing the Chinese to see that they finish it in 2018. We have made it clear that Mr President must Commission the completed project by January 2019.”
He further revealed that other arrangements have been concluded with the Lagos State Government to demolish both Jibowu and Costain bridges for the speedy completion of the construction which connects Lagos, Ogun and Ibadan adding that two new bridges and flyovers will be constructed to replace the demolished bridges.
“On the Jibowu and Costain bridges, we have agreed that the two of them have to go. We have agreed with the governor of Lagos state after inspecting the bridges on Monday on the arrangements we have to make before the bridges have to go. They cannot just go like that because of the management of traffic.
“So, what we agreed on is that we are constructing two new bridges at Costain so that by the time we finish them, we will demolish the existing ones. For the one at Jibowu, we will build a flyover across it before demolishing it,” the Minister explained.
He noted that he was impressed by the extent of work done on the construction project, ROYAL NEWS reports.
“We are impressed with the progress of work, but we expect more from CCECC. That is why we want them to increase the speed at which they are going.
“Yes, I am a lay man, but we have Engineers supervising the construction and I know that by now they were supposed to have laid the tracks. I expected that they can lay the tracks within a period of one month,” he noted.
On the issue of challenges such as the gas pipeline crossing the railway line in Ogun, the minister said if the issue of transmission lines with the NNPC gas pipeline is not addressed, there will be no railway line.
“I cannot tell you how soon we can do that because I am not with the NNPC. But what we know is that we have a target date. However, I want to say that there is no way you can do construction without challenges in different forms and kinds.
“The difference between this construction and the rest is that journalists are physically present with the Minister while the work is going on. In other constructions what the journalists may see is the finished product and may not know what they went through.”
He averred that the challenges confronting the construction is not even in Ogun State but in Lagos.
“We are dealing with water, drainage, gas, power and the military in Lagos but we are dealing with just gas pipeline and maybe few power transmission lines in ogun and we can manage that,” he said.
He therefore announced the delivery of two locomotives and 10 coaches which would be Commissioned this month by President Buhari to ensure the ease of travel from Kaduna to Abuja.