Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has explained that the rush to complete the Lagos-Ibadan railway project is because the federal government wants to decongest the gridlock in Lagos as well as the Lagos seaport.
Amaechi said once the Lagos-Ibadan railway is completed, cargoes would be transported on the train , a development he said would solve the problem of gridlocks and congestions at the Lagos seaport.
The Transportation Minister who spoke with journalists after inspecting the project site in Ibadan,the Oyo State capital on Monday,dismissed rumours that the rush for completion of the project was politically motivated.
Amaechi said:”The rush wasn’t for political purpose. The problem is that there is too much congestion at the Apapa seaport and there is gridlock in Lagos.
“The moment we finish the rail project before December, almost all the cargoes will be on the track and the moment you do that you have resolved the gridlock and the congestion at the seaport. That will create employment, economic growth and that’s what our target is”.
He disclosed that track laying of the project will be concluded by the first week of June this year,saying that attention will be given to the construction of small stations,signalling and communications.
The Transportation Minister said:”We need to look at the stations especially the small stations and signalling as well as communication. We have also agreed that the tracks will finish between May and first week in June.
“The pace of work at Kilometres 110 to 121 and Kilometres 124 to 157 appear to be slow. They have promised to increase the speed. We have just reviewed the entire 157.500 kilometres of railway and came to the conclusion that they have done well.
“We have given them a target that by the next inspection in May, they should get to Kilometre 121 and 130”.