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Standard Gauge rail lines will address Apapa gridlock , says Amaechi

The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi (2nd from left), on inspection of the rail project
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, on Thursday said that the ongoing construction of Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge rail lines would end the
lingering chaotic Apapa gridlocks, when completed.

Amaechi disclosed this while
inspecting construction works at the various sections of the projects at Ijoko,
Kajola, Papalanto and Odeda on Ogun and Lagos States axis.

According to him, major solutions to the usual Apapa
gridlocks is efficient railway lines.
“As you can see that the narrow gauge is existing, but
it is not efficient.
“The moment we fix this project then, those goods will
be transferred to the rail and the traffic locked jam will disappear on the
“We need to push the contractor to work faster; the
pressure is more of economic than political, because once the project gets to
Iju in Ogun, the next pressure is to get to the Sea Ports.
“When the rail lines get to the Sea Ports then, most of
these goods will be on the rail, thereby reducing pressure on the roads,” the
minister said.
Amaechi said that efforts had been put in place to
fast-track the project for the benefit of the citizens.
He said that there was improvement in the level of
works done on Abeokuta axis of the project, adding that there was challenge on
Agbado-Iju in Ogun toward Lagos corridor.
The minister said that he recently signed N42 billion
contract to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) to get
more equipment to fast-track the pace of work.
“You can see that there is an improvement from Iju to
Abeokuta, but from Iju to Agbado toward Lagos is where we have little challenge
on civil work.
“I believe the closer we get to Lagos, the better for
the rail; that is why we are battling the contractor to tell us when the work
will get to Lagos axis in full.
“There is a huge improvement up to Abeokuta from Iju
and then, we also want them to get the same speed in the construction to
Agbado-Iju toward Lagos corridor.
“Railway construction is not like frying an egg, it’s
not easy, though, the contract is three years.
“We are just doing a year plus, but we assure that it won’t
exceed the scheduled period.
“We are just pushing them to hasten the work for the
benefit of people, not for political reason, but more of economic reasons,” the
minister said.
Amaechi said that the standard gauge line when
completed would improve the business of the various communities along the rail
He added that the development would generate more
employment among the teeming youths along the rail corridors of various
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Amaechi
had during his December 2018 inspection, said that 33 kilometers of Standard
gauge track had been laid out of the 85 kilometres distance covered from Lagos
to Abeokuta.
According to him, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo
will by January ending in 2019 inaugurate the Lagos to Abeokuta Standard Gauge
railway line.
“All the four extra-large bridges, 11 normal large
bridges, four medium bridges, two steel structured bridges, 10 frame bridges,
207 culverts in the Lagos-Abeokuta axis have reached various stages of
completion,” he said.
According to him, eight coaches earlier imported for
use at Ajaokuta will be deployed for use from Lagos to Abeokuta early 2019.

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