FG to Deliver Standard Gauge Project by 2018

Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the Federal Government is committed to deliver the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge project by December 2018.

 

Amaechi disclosed this at Papalanto in Ogun, during his monthly visit and oversight functions at the constructions sites on Tuesday.

According to him, the government is chasing the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) to fast-tract the project for the benefit of the people by 2018.

“I don’t think the CCECC has a choice than to deliver the project at the stipulated time; by now the company should have started laying the tracks.

“All I know is that we have a target date, though there are some challenges the CCECC is facing in different forms and kind and we have to address them.

“The challenges are not even in the villages but in Lagos; we are dealing with water, cables, pipelines and others, but we are still committed to delivering the project according to the time line.

“So that by January 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari will do the inauguration,’’ he said.

The minister said he had embarked on a tour, with Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, on the planned demolitions of both Jibowu and Costain bridges.

Amaechi added that all proper arrangements had been put in place to ensure free flow of traffic during the demolitions.

He also said that Jibowu and Costain bridges in Lagos would give way for the new railway lines.

According to him, laying of tracks will begin by April 2018, as all the right of ways has been concluded.

Speaking on the materials inspection trip to China between September 12 and 27, 2017, by some Senior officials of the Ministry, Amaechi explained that the trip was to ensure that the best quality materials were procured by the contractor for its use on the Lagos-Ibadan rail project and also, the trip was in conformity with the contractual agreement with the contractor.

Similarly, it said: “Amaechi has also disclosed that the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has procured two Locomotives and 10 coaches for Abuja-Kaduna rail line and another 17 coaches for Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line which is expected to commence commercial operations by June, 2018.

“Meanwhile, all illegal structures within the NRC corridor (Apapa ports-Ebute meta- Ijoko) which is about 6.5 kilometres marked out by the Lagos State surveyor for demolition were already been demolished by CCECC.”

On the issue of local content, Amaechi, maintained that CCECC must respect the Nigeria Local Content Law as far as project execution with regard to the rail line was concerned, warning that any attempt on the part of the contractor to breach the law would not be taken lightly.

He however, charged CCECC to ensure that any construction work that would be done to link Apapa ports to other parts of Lagos State must be on ‘double track and not single track’ specification.

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