The Federal government has promised to complete the Lagos-Ibadan rail project by December 2020 or latest January 2021. This was disclosed on Thursday by Rotimi Amaechi, the honorable minister of Transport during a program on Channels Television. Amaechi informed that he intends to meet with his Works counterpart, Babatunde Fashola, as well as the Lagos state government on how the rail project will be extended to the Apapa port.
“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,” he said.
“Why I said that is because by December to the first or second week in January, we should have completed the Lagos-Ibadan [railway]. 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.
“If we do that, you reduce the destruction that is happening on our roads, then we can transfer all the cargoes that come from Apapa seaport to the railway. We believe that we can transfer that up to Ibadan.
The transportation minister said the government will be able to save the country’s roads from dilapidation if cargoes are conveyed by rail.
“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.”
Corroborating Amaechi’s stance, Fashola who joined the program virtually, said it will be best to move the transportation of cargoes to rail.
“The tankers are plying excess cargo; they are moving 60,000 tonnes instead of 33,000, 40,000 or 45,000 tonnes maximum. So, the best way is to move all that cargo into the tracks,” he said.
“That is what happens in countries we want to be like and that is where we are heading. So, he (Amaechi) has my support.”