Following reports in some sections of the media that the Lagos-Ibadan railway cost $ 2 billion dollars; much more than the bill for an alleged similar Railtrack in Ghana covering a longer distance, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari has said the claim is fictitious.
In a press statement signed by Anastasia Ogbonna, Assistant Director press, Zakari says the Lagos Ibadan rail cost “US$1, 581,847,371.00 as against the US$2billion alleged and that the cost index/km is US$4.09million as against the US$13.6million alleged “.
Referring to the comparison with a rail line in Ghana, the statement reads “the Ghanaian government has since refuted the publication, describing it as “containing a lot of factual inaccuracies.”
The Permanent Secretary said “Lagos-Ibadan railway is actually 386km since it is a double track rail line as against the 156km alleged which is just the distance from Ebute Meta (Lagos) and Ibadan terminal stations only”.
Zakari also drew attention to the fact that “railway project does not depend solely on the distance between terminal points but rely on various factors which include but not limited to terrain, core operation accessories, land acquisition and compensation, earthworks, bridges, culverts and stations”.
As to if due process was followed, the statement says
“due Diligence was followed in the award of the contract as the project was approved by Federal Executive Council after a Certificate of No Objection by the Bureau of Public Procurement was issued”.
It may be recalled that the first segment of the project was approved in 2012 while the current administration approved the second segment to link Ebute Meta (Lagos) to Apapa port complex to ease the perennial traffic gridlock that has defied solutions.