The Federal Government has fixed June 10 as tentative date for the commissioning of the flagship Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced this during an inspection of the project with the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, on Sunday.
Mohammed, who spoke briefly with newsmen at the Wole Soyinka Station in Abeokuta, said the inspection on Sunday was to ensure that all the T’s are crossed and I’s dotted ahead of the commissioning.
Daily Trust had earlier reported how the China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC), the contractor handling the project, has been pressured to deliver all the 10 stations ahead of the commissioning.
The stations are Ebute-Metta, Apapa, Agege, Agbado, Kajola, Papalanto, Abeokuta, Omi Adio, Olodo and Moniya.
Most of the stations have reached are between 90 and 100 percent completion stage.
The Ministers as well as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria and other officials of the Ministry started the inspection from the Mobolaji Johnson Station (Ebute-Metta) before heading to the Bola Tinubu Station (Apapa).
The Ebute-Metta Station is the biggest station in the train corridor. It is reputed to be the most magnificent government building in Nigeria.
According to the Transportation Minister, all the equipment and facilities have been installed ahead of the takeoff of operation.
The Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail is the lot 2 of the 2,700km Lagos-Kano standard gauge which construction started in 2017 with extension to Nigeria’s Premier Ports in Apapa to aid massive cargo movement and decongest the ports.
Mohammed said, “Tentatively, the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge would be commissioned on June 10. What the Honourable Minister is doing is to ensure that all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed before June 10.
“You can see right from Apapa to Agege, Papalanto to this place, you have seen us go down to engage the contractor to ensure that everything is in order.
“Because this is one of the flagships of this administration, one of the landmark achievements of this administration.
“Not only this is the first time we are having a dual standard gauge but you can see the passion by which the Minister supervises the project.”