The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has summoned a meeting of all stakeholders in the Lagos Ibadan rail project to discuss options for ensuring that the project is delivered.
The Minister who spoke to journalist after the monthly inspection of the Lagos Ibadan rail said he can no longer guarantee the completion of the project by May judging from the slow pace of work in some areas.
“It’s 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 balace 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”.
“I have asked to meet with NPA on Thursday or friday to resolve those issues, CCECC, NPA and TRAM will be at the meeting and we will resolve the issues” .
The Minister also blamed the delay on the demolitions yet to be done like Pillars at NPA and conveyor yet to be demolished.
“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”.
Amaechi however said the tracks were completed on schedule.
“If it’s in terms of tracks, it’s 100%. 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’s where we have been having problems, always had problems with Lagos because of the urban nature of Lagos”.
On his part, the Governor of Ogun state , Oluseyi Makinde who accompanied the Minister on the inspection,expressed satisfaction with the development on the ground, expressing joy at the benefits it will bring to his state.
“For us in Oyo state, it is a wake up 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 seamless and everything can be done smoothly”.
“With the rail , we 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 help us get out of Lagos shadow”.
The Minister was also accompanied on the inspection by his Minister of state, Gbemisola Saraki, The Chairman NRC board Engr Ibrahim Alhassan, and the MD Nigerian railway corporation Engr Fidet Okhiria.