The federal government will soon commence work on the much anticipated Port Harcourt-Bonny-Maiduguri railway corridor according to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Construction work however will commence as soon as the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge is completed, the Transportation minister assured.
Amaechi however addedthat the planned commencement is subject to approval by the Federal ExecutiveCouncil, FEC. The Minister stated this in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, whileon an inspection tour to ascertain the level of work done on the stations alongthe corridor.
“We have sent to the cabinet the request forapproval of two railway contracts, Port Harcourt – Bonny to Maiduguri. If thatis awarded, that will be the next assignment for the Ministry ofTransportation.
The Kano-Maradi line,which passes through Kano, Dutse, Kazaure, Daura, Katsina, Jibiya, Maradi isalso in line. “We are also pursuing the loan for the contract which has beenawarded for the Lagos to Calabar rail line.
We also expect that Ibadan to Kano willcommence before the end of this year,” Amaechi said. On the Lagos-Ibadanrailway project, Amaechi noted that not much has been done, adding that thebuilding of the Apapa station has just started.
“I want them to finish all the stations at thesame time. And I have insisted that a special task force be set up to make sureApapa station is completed the same time as all the others.
If you see the station at Olodo, there is animprovement. They have finished flooring, roofing, lighting, ceilings; justdoors, and windows are left now.
Again, what is left at Kajola is justpainting. There is an improvement in Olodo and Ebute-metta too. “The onlystation I am not satisfied is the last one in Ibadan.
However, they have given us the followingtargets: End of September, three stations will be ready; end of October, allthe seven minor stations will be ready; end of December, everything will beready,” he added.
The ministers also expressed optimism in thepossibility of more engineers joining their colleagues on-site to acceleratethe pace of work. “The timeline hasn’t changed, but they didn’t meet my targetfor this inspection.
My target was thatby today, they would have finished the minor stations, but they gave an excusethat because of COVID-19, they hadn’t enough engineers on site.
What you have is the same engineers supervising Agbado and Agege. So they move in between and that is slowing down the work. “As for me, I want this job done because I want to move out of Lagos.
Their submission is thatby next week, all engineers will be on-site and work will commence and oncework commences, they will be faster and by the end of September, they shouldfinish the three major stations.”