Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said the Federal Government is talking with General Electric (GE), to rehabilitate service stations in the rail sector as part of efforts to ease the ongoing construction work of the $1.5 billion Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project.
Besides, the Minister disclosed that GE would be investing a total of $2.7billion for reconstruction and rehabilitation, which will create jobs and provide better living for the Nigerian citizenry.
Amaechi revealed this after a tour to Ijoko, Papalanto, Itori, and Ewekoro community in Ogun State as part of the monthly site monitoring to ensure the project met timeline by December 2018.
He said: “We are currently talking with General Electric, at the moment we conclude with GE, and when we are able to sign the agreement, GE would rehabilitate the service stations, perhaps reconstruct new ones to aid the smooth running of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project.”
“More narrow gauge are coming as GE improves tracks, they will bring in more coaches and locomotives, which are for standard gauge. They are bringing 10 more coaches,” he added.
However, he said the federal government will demolish two bridges in Lagos, which includes, Jibowu – Ojuelegba and Costain bridge which would however be rebuilt and raised to accommodate the train.
Amaechi said the two bridges as well as sewage and gas pipelines had delayed the commencement of work as the government interfaces with stakeholders especially the governments of Lagos and Ogun to address the challenges.
“These are problems that are expected particularly when a project like this has to cut through an urban settlement like Lagos. We will meet with the Nigerian Gas Company to resolve this very soon; This is a continuation of the narrow gauge line. The narrow gauge line has to come into papalanto at Kajola and Ijoko to create space for the standard gauge line going to Ibadan,”he said.
He explained that another bridge in Ijoko being constructed by the Ogun state government would be raised up.In his words: “They have told me that by December, they will start laying the tracks. So by December 2018, it should be completed. There are no hitches in this part of the project unlike in Lagos were we have to pay compensation for gas and water pipes removal.”
He added that China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) would start laying tracks by December in Lagos, noting that parts of the rail lines that would be used for the project would arrive the country by end of November. The minister while inspecting the level of work done, called for speedy work by CCECC so as to meet the deadline.The minister while inspecting the level of work done, called for speedy work by CCECC so as to meet the deadline.