The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Guage Rail line should be ready by December this year.
Amaechi gave the assurance while briefing newsmen in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the end of his monthly routine inspection tour of the project.
In company of other management staff of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), the Minister started the inspection tour from Ebute-Meta in Lagos.
The 10 stations along the line were still at various levels of completion even though the track laying from Ebute-Meta in Lagos to Ibadan in Oyo State had been completed.
Amaechi, however, said that there had been some improvements and progress in the construction of railways stations along the line.
The minister stated:
Olodo (Station) is just near the completion. At Kajola, what is outstanding is just painting. There are changes at Ebute-Meta. There was an improvement in Kajola, Olodo, and Ebute-Meta, though, not to the extend I expect that it should be.
They have given us the target; by the end of September, three stations will be ready.
By the end of October, all the minor stations will be ready, that is six stations. By the end of December, every station will be ready.
The only one station they (CCECC) are afraid of is Apapa (Station) because they started very late, but I insisted that Apapa should be completed at the same time as the rest.
According to the minister, he had assured the contractor of the provision of a task force to help the speedy completion of Apapa Station, while also adding that he would come to assess the work by the end of September.
He further expressed the belief that project would be completed before the end of December for commencement of operations.
Amaechi stressed that the excuse given by the contractor was that there was no enough engineers to carry on the project due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Timeline has not changed. Do they meet my target? The answer is No. My target was before we come on Sept.15 for inspection, they should have finished all the minor stations,” he added.
The same engineers supervising Agbado supervise Agege, that is slowing them down. For me, that is not an excuse.
I want this work done quickly because I want to move out of this place.
Their position is that by next week more engineers will be coming; we expect them to isolate for seven days and work will commence. Once, work commences, they will be faster.