President Muhammadu Buhari is set to inaugurate the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line in May, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has confirmed.
Concise News reports that Amaechi made this known on a live television programme in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to the minister, he has informed the president of finishing the project in April after announcing that the project would be ready before the beginning of the second quarter of this year.
Amaechi added that the Federal Ministry of Transportation has been working hard to see that the project was set for inauguration in April.
He said: “We have put the President on notice that we are ready to commission the Lagos-Ibadan railway by April. Probably, since we (used to) have Democracy Day in May, he (Buhari) may wish to commission it in May.”
This news medium had reported that Amaechi has assured Nigerians that the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line will be completed latest by April 2020.
Amaechi gave this assurance while speaking to journalists at the end of the project inspection tour on-board the train from Iju in Lagos State to Ibadan in Oyo State.
The minister, who noted that the Lagos axis of the project had been challenging due to urbanisation, said that the contractor had made a significant improvement in the construction of stations.
He said, “There is huge improvement compared to the last time we came. We will all agree that there is huge improvement. The contractor has assured us that by December 20 when we gather for the 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 signaling. Once we complete that, we are out of Lagos-Ibadan.
“We have told you we will be out of this place (Lagos-Ibadan Standard guage rail line) latest by April (2020). We are no longer giving ourselves the time; the contractor gave us the time.
“The only easy way to clear the Apapa gridlock is to get the tracks into the seaport. By this, cargoes will just be loaded into wagons and taken up to Ibadan.”