The Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has warned the contractor handling the $1.5billion Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway, against failing to deliver the project by the December 2018 deadline set by Government.
Amaechi, who assured that there would be no going back on the deadline, said the Oshodi, and Ikeja bridges in Lagos, and ongoing construction of flyover at Ijoko, Ogun state, were major impediments to the project.
Speaking during a tour of the project, particularly between Lagos and Ogun, the Minister noted that government would adopt sustainable and cost effective solutions for the bridges to allow the construction fit into global standard.
The project, which is a part of the Lagos to Kano railway construction, was commissioned by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo in the first quarter of the year, to be delivered in December 2018, with an expectation of creating 500,000 jobs but no serious work has commenced.
Amaechi said: “The reason why they have not commenced serious work is the problems they are having on the Right Of Way. What I did today is to address those problems. One of the problems is the height of the flyover, which Ogun State is building.
“As a ministry, we agreed with the contractors for on-site meeting to ascertain the level of work, the project and what way forward. Today, we came to the conclusion that they have not commenced serious work.”
On the ongoing flyover bridge in Ogun, as part of the Sango-Ijoko-Berger road project, he said: “We need to increase the current height from 4.8 to 6.5 metres because we may also want to ensure that there is electricity on the Right Of Way, because tomorrow we may use electricity to power the engine.
“The engineers are going to meet from today, and we will also meet by Wednesday. So before Friday, I should be able to meet with you to say this is the best option that we’re going to take.
Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, who was also at the event urged the federal government to speed up the project, noting that the state would address inherent challenges on the flyover.
“On our part as a state, we will do our bit. We are going to complement their efforts and that’s why we are doing this bridge, which should have been done by the Federal Government. Those grey areas, engineering details, we are going to fine-tune them.
“It is going to be in our interest if this rail is fixed; not only Ogun State’s interest, but Nigerians’ interest. All the economies of Nigeria depend to a considerable extent on this axis, moving from Lagos to Ibadan, to the North, even the one going to the East.”