The Federal government says it will commence the manufacture of wagons and coaches at Kajola with a ground breaking in September while the University of Transportation in Daura will have its ground breaking in October.
The Minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi disclosed this during his first inspection tour of the Lagos- Ibadan rail project after his inauguration for second tenure.
“We are insisting that they can’t continue to manufacture coaches and wagons in China and sell to us, so as part of the benefit we will get out of the contract we have given them,they will build a factory in Kajola.For now they will manufacture wagons but they will progress from wagons to coaches and locomotives”.
The Minister who inspected the stations under construction from Apapa to Ibadan says the slow pace of work was due to the absence of a minister to sign the IPCs that were needed for progress to be made in the two months he was away.
” There are IPCs that nobody could sign other than the minister so I will sign them on Monday”.
“On our part,We are owing them compensations for land acquisition and there are those approvals we need to get from the cabinet. There are over passes in Lagos,underpasses in Lagos like Agege which we can’t commence until we get approval from the cabinet. We will go to the cabinet quickly and get it”.
The Minister however said overall, considerable progress had been achieved with the project. He however said the Lagos- Ibadan rail alone cannot remove the Apapa gridlock which will only be solved completely with the completion of Ibadan-Kano rail. He expressed optimism that when the rail gets to the seaport and goods are moved by trains,the gridlock will be over.
” Our target is to get to the seaport so we can evacuate the goods from the seaport “
Amaechi reiterated the need to source for materials for the project locally where possible even as he assured that Nigerians are being trained in China already to take over from the Chinese adding that the rail university Daura will provide more manpower for the railway in Nigeria.
The Minister said activities on the Lagos-Ibadan railway will soon commence fully.