The Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge project that will replace the antiquated rail system will be ready in April 2020, according to the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi.
“We will be out of this place (Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge project), latest by April 2020. We are no longer giving ourselves the time, the contractors are the ones giving us the time.
“The fact is that they can get to Ebute-Meta even before December or early January, but getting there without getting to Apapa will not achieve much because we need to clear the gridlock.”
￼He expressed optimism that the lbadan-Kano project would not experience the challenges of Lagos-Ibadan axis.
“If we will meet anything like that, it won’t be in the magnitude of Lagos because it was a total chaos and we didn’t get the kind of support we needed initially but now we have it.
“The support could be the people and the fact is that some people are still in court over this because lands were taken from them.
“It wasn’t there at all for those who live in Lagos and Ibadan but now we are hearing that people are stealing our equipment.’’
On the train stations, Amaechi said the contractors were willing to complete the stations but that the equipment have not arrived from China.
“They are still expecting pipes and other things and they requested that we give them one or two months to complete the stations.”
On the promised free Christmas train ride scheduled to commence on Nov. 30, Amaechi explained: “They said by the time we come for inspection on the 20th of December, the track will get to Ibadan and the issue will now be the completion of stations, communications and signaling so that we can commence test running on the 30th of November.
“We do not have enough coaches and locomotives but we will start with as many people as we can take pending when the 20 locomotives that we imported arrive and we expect that they will arrive end of December or latest second week in January, 2020.”