Buhari to commission locomotives, coaches

President Muhammadu Buhari

The Federal Government has said it will soon commission two rail locomotives and 10 coaches later this month as part of efforts to ease traffic movement during the festive season.

The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, made this known on Tuesday in Papalantoro, during a tour of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project in Ogun state.

According to him the government had received delivery of the locomotives and coaches, stating that president will be commissioning it this December. “We want to make sure that those travelling from Abuja to Kaduna are able to use the new coaches and locomotives,” he said.

The minister, who examined the level of work done by the contractors, expressed worry over the rate at which the project is being executed.

He, however, assured Nigerians that the December 2018 deadline set for the completion of the project still holds, saying the contractors would need to intensify their efforts to achieve the goal.

He also revealed that none of the contractors is being owed by the government.

While inspecting sections of work done on the project in Papalanto, Ewekoro area of Ogun State, Amaechi said the Federal Government and Lagos State Government have agreed to bring down the overhead bridges in Jibowu and Costain area of Lagos in order to fast-track the project.

“I was with the Lagos State Governor on a tour, and we have agreed that the two bridges must come down.”
In his words, “There is no way massive construction work can be embarked upon without challenges in different forms and sizes. The difference between this project and others is that we are physically present to witness the challenges. In other project works, you don’t even see the challenges. You just see that the project is completed.”

On challenges facing the project, the Minister explained: “We don’t even have much challenges over here in Ogun compared to what we have in Lagos. In Lagos, we are dealing with water, drainage, gas, military buildings, and power transmission lines. Here, we are dealing with just gas and maybe a few power transmission lines, and we can manage that.

On the gas pipeline, he said: “We have approach NNPC and they have been instructed on what to do, they are on site accessing what needs to be done so in the next week or two we need to conclude that and know where to relocate the gas pipeline.”

They are confronting challenges because the path is not clear bush, they are obstacles like the gas pipeline, MTN fibres cables, which we have written to them and they have refused to respond. They would have cleared these places but things have to be settled.

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