The minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said the April, 2020 deadline for the completion of the Lagos to Ibadan rail line will not be feasible.
The minister, who stated this at the sideline of the inspection of the ongoing work at the Lagos to Ibadan rail line, said “when you ask them (contractors) they still tell you it is possible.
“Let me not continue to give you a date and getting to that date, we are not there. They are being political. When I complained the last time, they said minor stations will be completed in April. They won’t talk about the major stations
We are heading back to the conference coach to have a meeting. I have told the entire management of CCECC that they must meet with me on Thursday.”
Speaking further, the minister said “If it is in terms of tracks, it is 100 percent. Apart from Ebute Metta but what you must know is that there are two contracts here. The first contract is from Ebute Metta to Ibadan.
“The second contract is from Ebute Metta to Apapa sea port which is about 6km. And that is where we have been having problems. If you have been following this inspection, we have always had problems with Lagos because of the urban nature of Lagos.
“We have a lot of demolition to do, you have to deal with pipes, you have to deal with oil pipes even when you get to the sea port but in terms of tracks from Agege to Ibadan, it was smooth.
“Now they are working from Agege to Ebute Metta which they think they should be able to complete in one to two weeks. It is just that trucking sand from Ogun state to Agege is a problem because they said they need more 32, 000 cubic meters to finish up at Agege but the do 3,000 per day which means they need ten days to be able to truck the quantity of sand that they need. So it is not that easy but I think they are making progress
On his general assessment of the work, the minister said ” It is a mixed bag. In some stations, you are impressed, in others you are not. Last time we came here, we had to suspend work because they were using what we refer to as stone dust now they are using balance to do the foundation. Not much happened at Abeokuta station. The worst is from Ebute Metta to Apapa. That is painful and that will be the focus from now henceforth.
“Again, the second excuse they have is that their vessels are at the sea port they can’t even berth because of the long queue. We will address it when we meet with NPA to see how they can come forward because we really need to complete this thing as soon as possible.”
While speaking of his impression of the project, Oyo state governor, Oluseyi Makinde said “so far so good, work is going on and a lot of effort is being put into it. A lot has been achieved so far and a lot still has to be done.
” For us in Oyo state, it is a wakeup call because the track is already here. So, we need to brace up ourselves with what we have to do as a state government so that the handshake can be seamless and everything can be done smoothly.
“The rail will boost our economy and people can work in Lagos and live in Ibadan. Students can attend our schools here. So, it will decongest Lagos and help improve our own economy and get us out of Lagos shadow.”