The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi , on Thursday assured that the federal government would commence work on Port Harcourt-Bonny-Maiduguri railway project on completion of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge.
The Minister, who gave this hint in Ibadan, Oyo State, during an inspection tour on the Lagos-Ibadan railway project to ascertain the level of work done on the stations along the corridor, however, hinged the take off of the Port Harcourt-Bonny-Maiduguri railway project on subject to approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
He said: “We have sent to the cabinet the request for approval of two railway contracts, Port Harcourt- Bonny to Maiduguri. If that is awarded, that will be the next assignment for the Ministry of Transportation. The Kano-Maradi line, which passes through Kano, Dutse, Kazaure, Daura, Katsina, Jibiya, Maradi is also in line for commencement.
“We are also pursuing the loan for the contract which has been awarded for the Lagos to Calabar rail line. We also expect that Ibadan to Kano will commence before the end of this year,” Amaechi added. On the Lagos-Ibadan railway project, the minister noted that not much had been done, adding that the building of the Apapa station has just commenced.
“I want them to finish all the stations at the same time. And I have insisted that a special task force be set up to make sure Apapa station is completed the same time as all the others. If you see the station at Olodo, there is an improvement.
“They have finished flooring, roofing, lighting, ceilings; just doors, and windows are left now. Again, what is left at Kajola is just painting. There is an improvement in Olodo and Ebute-metta too.
“The only station I am not satisfied is the last one in Ibadan. However, they have given us the following targets: End of September, three stations will be ready; end of October, all the seven minor stations will be ready; end of December, everything will be ready”, Amaechi added.