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Amaechi inspects the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Line; expressed optimism on 2018 completion period.
The Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has again expressed optimism on the completion period of the Lagos- Ibadan Rail line. "Our concern is that by December 2018 this project will be
completed and Mr President will commission it by January 2019" he said.
Amaechi stated this during the inspection of the Lagos -Papalanto segment of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line Project on Tuesday, December 12, 2017.
The Minister accompanied with some Directors of the Ministry, members of the Steering Committee on the rail Project, Management team of the Nigerian Railway Corporation as well as Pressmen took a ride from Lagos to Papalanto in Ewekoro Local Government area of Ogun State where he commenced the inspection of the ongoing construction of the Railway Project in Papalanto.
Rotimi Amaechi and his entourage inspected the rail line that passes through Itori, Awowo and Wasimi Villages also in Ewekoro LocalGovernent area. At Itori, the Minister directed the CCECC to construct and equip a new primary school to replace the dilapidated Primary School in theVillage in observance of CCECC's Social Responsibility to the Community.
Briefing journalist at the end of the Monthly Project Monitoring Steering Committee meeting which took place in Papalanto immediately after the inspection tour, the Minister disclosed that following his meeting with the Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, a consensus was reached that the Bridges at Jibowu and Constain area of Lagos State will be destroyed to pave way for the rail line that passes along that axis noting that another two new Bridges will be built to replacr the destroyed bridges.
When asked if he was satisfied with the level of construction work,the Minister explained that it is difficult at this stage of the construction work to determine the the progress level due to the numerous challenges being faced by the contractors.
According to him, the Contractors are presently faced with the issue of under ground Cables, Gas pipe line and Water pipe line that are obstructing work along the Rail line among others. However, he stressed that work is ongoing and the Contractors would continue to improve as work progresses.
He acknowledge the fact that tackling these challenges might result in cost overrun and if this happen, he stated that the Ministry will not hesitate to approach Cabinet to seek for more funds.The Minister highlighted some of the achievements of the Ministry in the last two years to include :
- The commencement of work on the Itakpe-Warri line expected to be completed in June 2018 if there is no problem of budgetary allocation.
- The Ongoing Reforms in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) which undoubtedly has recently resulted in increase revenue generation for the Agency noting that the Agency generated a whooping sum of N20 billion for Government this year.
- The award of the Lagos-Ibadan Rail line Contract and eventual commencement of work amongst others.
Yetunde Sonaike (Mrs.)
December 12, 2017