In line with the present administration’s promise to link the entire country with rail line, acting president, Prof Yemi Osinbanjo has performed the ground breaking of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project with an extension to the Apapa port complex.
The ground breaking event which took place in the Nigeria Railway Corportion headquarters had in attendance ministers, members of the National Assembly, governors of Ogun and Oyo states, Chinese consulate, Oba of Lagos and other dignitaries.
At the ceremony, Prof. Osinbanjo said the project which is the second segment of the Lagos-Kano railway project will bring a lot of benefits to the states, cities and towns it will pass through.
He noted that the Lagos-Ibadan would open lagos as the nation’s commercial nerve centre to link other places to boost the socio-economic activities of those places.
According to the prof Osinbanjo, ” the project will restore the railway using culture for both commercial and personal purpose”
He added, ” it will reduce the burden on highways, reduce deterioration on our road network, reduce freight cost and increase life span of our roads. Boost import and export business”.
” the project will help to create over 4,000 jobs during construction and much more after its completion”.
The acting president disclosed that counterpart funding for the Lagos-Calabar rail project is ready and after all arrangements are concluded, work would commence in immediately.
Minister of transport, Mr. Rotimi Ameachi said the Revitalization of the rail sector in the country is top priority for Buhari led administration and no stone would be left unturned in ensuring that the promise made to Nigerians during his electioneering to link all parts of the country is fulfilled.
He said the project has the capacity to move 3.2 million tonnes of cargo annually.
Chairman, NRC, appealed to the government to provide more wagons, coaches and locomotive to meet the high demand of passengers, adding that government’s modernization of the sector is a commitment that most be supported by all stakeholders .
Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu while giving his fatherly advise, appealed to the Chinese company handling the project to employ Nigerians to work on the project instead of bring their people to do the jobs.
” Don’t bring carpenter and make him sight engineers, I will make sure I follow this up with the minister of foreign affairs, I would t take this likely”.
Lagos state Governor, Akinwumi Ambode described the ground breaking as historic, adding that it would open up the economy of the south west, boost agriculture and open up the hinterland and cities.