The minister of transportation, Chibuike Amaechi has said that the federal government will extend the Lagos – Ibadan railway project to the Apapa seaport for the effective movement of goods through the rail line.
Amaechi, who stated this while inspecting the project in Lagos, said this would require the demolition and expansion of the existing station in order to accommodate activities at the Apapa Seaport.
He explained that 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.
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 stations 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 work in Lagos. At the last meeting in Ajaokuta 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 seaport. If we are not able to complete that, we will start commercial activities from Ebutte Metta to Ibadan which is the original contract”, he said.
He noted that the present administration promised that all railways must terminate at the seaports.
While reacting to 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 compelling 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.