Lagos – Ibadan Railway: FG To Demolish Apapa Station
As part of the ongoing work at the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has directed that the Apapa station be demolished and expanded in order to accommodate the activities at the Apapa seaport.
Speaking while inspecting the project Monday, the minister said the idea is to pull down the existing structures, expand the station towards the seaport so that there would be easy access to ferry goods from the sea to the rail line and then to the town.
According to him, while speaking on the update of the work so far, he said “the quality of work is going very well. Both the track laying and field work are going well. The problem is Lagos. We have problem in Lagos, Apapa to be precise. Not because there is work done in Apapa but because we are going to relocate one of the station in Apapa.
“The problem with Lagos is the relocation of gas and oil pipelines. We will try and award the contract for the water pipelines because they have not finished the technical work for the relocation of the gas and oil pipelines. This is slowing down the activities of work in Lagos .
At the last meeting in Ajeokuta or Warri, we insisted that they must have covets in Lagos. We discovered that they just did four covets and that is not enough.
“We believe that the task we have given them is going on well because the contract is in two phases.
The first phase is the Ebutte Metta to Ibadan and we believe that we should be able to complete that. The second phase is the Apapa to sea port. If we are not able to complete that, we will start commercial activities from Ebutte Metta to Ibadan which is the original contract.
“It was this government that said all railway must terminate at seaports. For that one, if we finish on time, fine, if we don’t, we focus continue but work is progressing rapidly from Ebutte Metta to Ibadan.”
On the laying of tracks, he said he was not totally not happy with the pace of the work, but the problem is not the laying of tracks rather, it is the bridges.
He explained that “the bridges have to be constructed first then the tracks will flow. This is because one third of the construction is over the bridge.”
On the extension of the completion date for project, the minister said there was no need to talk about extension since they have not used up the time frame for the project.
“The project is designed for three years. It was we that are pushing the contractors to finish it in one year. We are just compiling the contract to finish it in one year. I have always insisted that no matter the situation, we will begin commercial activities in Ibadan to Ebutte Metta first,” he explained.
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