We’ll deliver Lagos-Ibadan rail project in 2018 – Osinbajo

We’ll deliver Lagos-Ibadan rail project in 2018 – Osinbajo
March 08 09:31 2017

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said the Federal Government would deliver an efficient rail service between Lagos and Ibadan by the end of 2018.

Speaking at the Nigerian Railway Corporation compound in Ebute-Meta, Lagos, during the ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday, Osinbajo said the project was the segment II of the standard gauge Lagos-Kano rail with extension to the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa.

He said the project was part of government’s  plan to improve transport links between Lagos and other state capitals across the country.

He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, during his visit to China in January 2016, had reopened negotiations with the Chinese government for the new Lagos-Kano rail project.

“An active and vibrant railway system confers many benefits on the society. Our ultimate goal is to restore a railway culture for both commercial and personal transportation. We are confident that the national rail project will create up to half a million jobs and facilitate the movement of up to 3.2 million tonnes of cargo per annum.

“It will also reduce the burden on national highways, thus reducing deterioration of the road networks and increasing the life span of our roads. Railway network will support efforts to diversify the economy and enhance our export potential. Just as several of our cities became known as railway towns in the past, we expect to boost economic activities within the railway lines that will eventually cut across the entire country,” he said.

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, said that the new project would open up the economies of states in the South-West and facilitate regional integration.

“A direct benefit of this project is that containers and goods from the Apapa Port will now be transported by rail, thereby reducing the number of trailers and other heavy duty vehicles on our roads,” he said.

The construction of the new rail line, awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, is being jointly funded by the Nigerian and Chinese governments at a cost of $1.5bn (about N458bn).

The rail line spanning 156.65 kilometres, according to the Managing Director of NRC, Mr. Fidet Okeria, is a standard gauge double line that will coexist with the old narrow gauge rail line.