The federal government has resolved on month-by-month inspection of Lagos-Ibadan rail project to ensure its completion in December 2018.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, who inspected the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge railway praised the contractors on the current pace of work.
Ameachi gave the assurance that the project would be completed end of 2018 during an on the spot inspection on the project on Friday in Lagos.
“On monthly basis, we try to review the performance of contractors so as ensure that we meet our target of laying this tars by 2018 December.
“We are satisfied with the work done.
“Sand clearing is done, we have started taking away the debris, hopefully by 2017 December, they will start laying tars, we believe that if they maintain the current speed, we should be able to deliver by 2018.”
On gas pipelines and cables earlier discovered as obstruction, the minister said that the ministry had started talk with all the concern ministries to relocate those pipes and cables.
The minister, however, declined to state the specific per cent of the work done on the project.
He commended the cooperation of Lagos residents especially those whose building were demolished during the process of executing the project.
The minister also commended Oyo, Ogun and Lagos governments for support on the project.
On locomotives and coaches, the minister said that the Federal Government had approved purchase of locomotives for two major rail lines.
“There is pressure on Kaduna-Abuja rail line, there are more passengers than the locomotives and coaches can carry because of the current situation in Abuja-Kaduna road and the fact that the Abuja-Kaduna rail line is subsidised, most people want to enjoy the government subsidy.
“We have already received two locomotives in Abuja. We have ordered 17 for which the management of NRC (Nigerian Railway Corporation) will be going on inspection on Saturday.
“Out of the 17, ten will arrive before the other seven will arrive by the end of the year. When the ten arrive, we will deploy them to Kaduna-Abuja rail line.
According to him, there will be more efficient railway services in the country with the commitment of the President Muhammad Buhari-led administration.
Amaechi said that the Federal Government had also approved the standard gauge railway from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri saying it would pass through many states in the south and north.
According to him, the railway development will increase economic activities and well-being of Nigerians.
The minister said that the infrastructural development would build economy, create employment and put wealth in people’s pockets, adding”That’s what the Federal Government is try to do.
He said that most of the projects were based on loans, stressing that the development would reach every part soon.