Monday, January 20, 2020 10:46 pm
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, on Monday said he had sent out invitations to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other stakeholders to address issues slowing down the rail project.
Amechi, during inspection of work on the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line, expressed sadness at the slow pace of work on some sections.
He said that the issue of quality materials raised during his last visit had been addressed, but stressed the need for urgent stakeholders engagement to speed up work.
“Not much happened at Abeokuta station, the worst is from Ebute Meta to Apapa. That is painful and that will be the focus from now henceforth.
“All sorts of excuses, I have asked to meet with management of NPA on Thursday or Friday to resolve those issues.
“Again, the second excuse they have is that their (CCECC) vessels are at the seaport, they cannot even berth because of the long queue and the crisis of congestion.
“So, we will address it with NPA. Everybody will be at the meeting.
“NPA, CCECC and TEAM will all be at the meeting,” he said.
TEAM — Technics Engineering Architecture Marketing Nigeria Limited — is a consultant involved in the project.
Amechi said that rail tracks were 100 per cent completed on the first contract, which is from Ebute Meta to Ibadan.
The minister said that about five to six kilometres tracks on the second contract from Ebute Meta to Apapa Sea Port was not completed.
He said that Lagos section of the project was slow because of gridlock affecting movement of construction materials as well as several utilities in the Right of Way of the project.
Oyo State Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, who was on the minister’s entourage from Lagos to Ibadan, expressed satisfaction at the progress achieved on the project.
“For me personally, it is a wake up call for us in Oyo State because the tracks are already here.
“We need to brace up to be able to do what we need to do on the state government side so that the handshake can be seamless and the benefits can come to our people immediately,” he said.
The governor said that the project would help decongest Lagos and improve tourism and business opportunities in Oyo State using the rail.
He said that the state government would also play its part to ensure infrastructure connectivity and security around the rail transport.
Amaechi began the inspection from the ongoing construction of the Ebute Meta train hub before heading to the Apapa Port area.
The inspection team moved back through Ebute Meta to inspect various sections of the project on the Lagos end through Kajola, Itori, Papalanto and Abeokuta in Ogun and various portions in Ibadan, Oyo State.