“April Completion Date For Lagos To Ibadan Rail No Longer Feasible” —Amaechi
The Minister of Transportation in Nigeria, Rotimi Amaechi, has said the completion of Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line and the Ebute-Metta railway mega station in April 2020 is no longer feasible.
Amaechi stated this during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos during the monthly inspection of rail projects across the country.
The minister who was accompanied by the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, and Minister of State (Transportation), Senator Gbemisola Saraki, expressed his displeasure to the Chinese firm working daily at the Ebute-Metta end of the project.
Amaechi’s tweet about the monthly inspection reads;
Today, Oyo State Governor, @seyimakinde is accompanying us on the monthly inspection of work on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line. We are going the whole nine yards. From the mega station in Ebute Metta to Apapa and all the way to Ibadan. A large chunk of this rail line is in Oyo State. pic.twitter.com/TKpiO52Lak
— Chibuike.R. Amaechi (@ChibuikeAmaechi) January 20, 2020
In his statement, he expressed that;
From the mega station in Ebute Metta to Apapa and all the way to Ibadan. A large chunk of this rail line is in Oyo State. Looking at the state of work in Apapa, completing the project in April doesn’t seem feasible, especially the extension of the rail line to the seaport. “We’ll however work and redouble our efforts to complete the project and meet set targets.
During an inspection in November, the minister had assured Nigerians that the project would be completed in April, as he expressed satisfaction with the state of the work at the time.
Amaechi had noted that there is huge improvement compared to the last inspection saying;
The contractor has assured us that by the 20th of December when we gather for next inspection, the tracks will get here (Omi Adio Station) in Ibadan, Oyo state. By then the focus will no longer be on the tracks, but on the completion of the stations, then communications and signalling. Once we get communications and signalling complete, we are out of Lagos-Ibadan. We have told you we will be out of this place latest April (2020). We are no longer giving ourselves the time, the contractor now give us the time.”
However, the minister says he is not impressed about the speed of work presently, saying no excuse would be acceptable henceforth even as he vowed to meet with Nigeria Ports Authority later in the week.
Amaechi revealed while speaking to newsmen that;
A major 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. The Chinese Construction Engineering Company, CCECC and NPA will be at the meeting and we will resolve the issues.”
He further called for patience, saying issuing new deadlines to the contractors who may end up failing again was not good for business.
Let me not continue to give you a date and getting to that date, you are not there. The contractors are being political. When I complained the last time, they said minor stations will be completed in April. The tracks are almost 100 per cent completed. 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. If you have been following this inspection, we have always had problems with Lagos because of the urban nature of Lagos.
The minister for transportation noted that the contractors are now working from Agege to Ebute Metta which should be completed in one to two weeks.
See photos from inspection below: