As part of amelioration moves to put to final rest the challenges hindering the smooth construction of the Lagos-Ibadan section of Lagos-Kano standard guage railway project, the federal government announced on Tuesday resolutions to relocate the Yaba military Barracks, Lagos to pave way for the ongoing construction.
The Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Rotimi Amaechi and his Information counterpart, Alhaji Lai Muhammed told journalists during a train ride aimed at inspecting work progress at the papalanto international railway station, Ogun state that the parties concerned had met and agreed that funds would be disbursed by the federal government before the end of May 2018 for temporary relocation of the barrack pending the construction of a new one by the government.
The transport minister explained after the meeting that lasted for hours at the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) administrative headquarters in papalanto that solutions to over 60% challenges confronting the projected have been fashioned out and CCECC have agreed to implement it, hence the optimism in the actualization of the project in no distant time.
While identifying Lagos state water pipes, oil and gas pipelines and others that run on the proposed standard guage lines as another major problems limiting the pace of work, Amaechi expressed fear that there may be alterations in the timeline set for the completion of the project even as he assured that FG would do everything necessary to ensure that the project’s deadline is met.
Amaechi noted that the railway project has provided over 7000 jobs for Nigerians and more is expected in few months to come.
He said, “as you are all aware that we have begun the standard guage project from Apapa Seaport to Ibadan, I think myself and the minister for information are satisfied with the progress recorded so far. There are itches here and there which you already know and we have resolved 60% among the challenges that have slowed down the project at Lagos areas.
“The next phase is track laying because that can done during this raining season while the remaining civil works can resume by August break or after the rainy season by September/October. I believe by the time we meet next month there would have been improvement” he said.
Fielding questions from the press, Alhaji Lai Muhammed explained that the rationale behind the tour was to showcase the achievements of the incumbent administration in tandem with the demand of the majority of Nigerians.
According to him, railway revitalization is part of the ongoing infrastructural revolution in the country even as he reiterated the commitments of the federal government to transforming the nation to an economically viable one via friendly and sustainable policies.
“The standard guage between Lagos and Ibadan is non-negotiable and I am happy to say that the consultants, contractors and other stakeholders are working assiduously to meet the deadline” Lai Muhammed said