The much awaited construction of standard railway track from Lagos to Ibadan has commence with the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria advising those with illegal structures on the railway right of way to leave immediately. The construction is expected to run for 18 months.
Okhiria who addressed some journalists in his office on Wednesday, April 12, stated that “the men (workers) are already on the field, we are already doing marking, we are sanitising the people to move their structures, so that the bulldozers can move in and re-claim the right of way”.
The MD revealed that the clearing for the construction of the standard gauge will be on both the right and left, and “the LASG also has a plan to do a line on the same alignment. There will be the room for level crossing, it is either under crossing or overhead”.
He said “the advice to the people is that if you know you are on the right of way of NRC, you should clear, those with legal documents will be compensated. Before, when we clear, they come back, but this time, when we clear, a track will emerge, and is for the betterment of all Nigerians”.
He added that the work will not affect the narrow gauge operations which is already running. “It is going to be programmed. Workers also need the track to move their materials to site. There is a setback for the narrow gauge, if there is a place the narrow gauge will affect the construction, there is a set back to us”.
It would be recalled that last month, the then Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) (GCON) had commissioned the kick start of the project in Lagos.
According to the Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi, “the scope of the Lagos-Ibadan Railway Project …involves ancillary facilities which includes construction of eight railway stations and Apapa and Ebute-Metta and Intermediate stations at Agege, Kajola, Papalanto, Abeokuta, Omi-Adio. The station at Olodo is a passing station while the station at Ibadan is an intermediate station with technical operation. The services for locomotive workshop, rolling stock depot and marshalling yards will be located at Kajola, Ogun state.
“The extension of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line to the Lagos sea port will significantly enhance the export and import trade of the country. This project is multi-functional for both passenger and freight services connecting three states-Lagos, Ogun and Oyo.
“This line is based on traffic volume forecast of over 3.2 million tons of goods/cargoes per annum, while the passenger services can take 16 pairs of passenger trains. The railway line in the nearest future will be extended from Ibadan to Ilorin, Minna, Kaduna and Kano and will link the Federal Capital Territory via Kaduna”.