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FG says Lagos-Ibadan railway now to complete in February 2019

The Federal Government has given the
contractor handling the Lagos-Ibadan rail project a new deadline of February
2019 to complete the rail project. 

This is even as it bemoaned attacks by
hoodlums and armed robbers on the project contractor in Lagos.

It would be recalled that the Federal
Government had initially set a December 2018 deadline for the completion of the
standard gauge rail project.

Speaking on Tuesday in Papalanto area
of Ogun State during his routine inspection of the project, the Honourable
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said that insecurity issues like
host community hostilities, armed robbery attacks and hoodlums harassment is
slowing down the pace of work at the Lagos axis of the project.

According to Rotimi Amaechi, “Yes
there is improvement on the project, but I am not too satisfied. I have told
the contractor that by February next year, there must be a train on the track
that makes transport sense.

“I have told them that there must be a
train on the tracks that must be able to convey people from Lagos to Abeokuta,
if not to Ibadan. We have agreed that everybody must work towards the new
deadline. The next inspection is on the 18th of December, 2018. That is to show
you how serious we are. The inspection was once monthly before, but henceforth,
it will be twice monthly.

“They are progressing rapidly. The
weather is no longer an issue. Almost all the bridges having been completed. By
our next meeting, it might remain just one bridge to be completed. The problem
is now to ensure tracks are laid up to the point where we have all the bridges.
For now, they will focus on the tracks first and build the stations later.”

On inactivity at the Lagos end of the
project, the Honourable Minister of Transportation listed insecurity as one of
the reasons for the slow pace of work.
In his words, “In Lagos, the
contractor complained about being attacked by communities and hoodlums. They
also complained that armed robbers are stealing their equipment. We didn’t
experience all these between Abeokuta to Ibadan. I have asked them to get the
security agencies involved so that they can be protected.”

On the forthcoming election affecting
the project, Amaechi stated that, “If as DG of the President Buhari campaign
team, I am telling you that I will be here on the 18th of December, that should
tell you that elections won’t disturb the project.
“Mr President has said we must build
infrastructure, and that must be done.”

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