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Our plans for Nigerian rail, by Amaechi

...To complete $1.6bn Lagos-Ibadan line in December

The Federal Government has outlined its plans for Nigeria’s railway projects saying it would complete the $1.6billion Lagos-Ibadan railway project in December this year or early January 2021.

Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi,who announced the plans last week said he would work with Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola and the Lagos State Government to move heavy duty trucks away from roads.

He said, “I intend to approach him (Fashola) in January and approach the Lagos State governor so that we can see how we can deal with Apapa. Why I said that is because by December to first or second week in January, we should have completed the Lagos-Ibadan.

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“Then if we do, there will be a need to decide what vehicles can go to Lagos and the capacity of such vehicles or trucks.”

Amaechi added, “If we do that, we can then transfer all the cargoes that come from Apapa seaport to the railway. We believe we could transfer that up till Ibadan while we are still constructing the rail line from Ibadan to Kano.”

The minister stated that in two to three years, the Ibadan-Kano rail line would have received a lot of work, adding that more cargoes would move on the rail line.

He said, “In the next two to three years, we will see how much we would have tried to complete the Ibadan to Kano line. The more we are able to move these cargoes out of the road, then we can save our roads.

“Similarly, the same thing will happen from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri. So, I agree completely with the works minister, Babatunde Fashola, and I say to Nigerians to be more patient with us and allow us to work to complete the projects.”