President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the Lagos-Ibadan railway project, describing it as another milestone in the revitalisation of railway projects to boost economic activities in Nigeria.
The president explained that the project is part of the Lagos-Kano railway project, with the Abuja-Kaduna leg already operational.
According to him, the railway project is receiving the attention it deserves and when the Lagos-Kano project is completed, it will link Maradi in Niger Republic.
He commended the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for his determination towards completing the railway project.
Amaechi said the Lagos-Ibadan rail project is the third that the president has commissioned.
“The first was the Abuja-Kaduna, followed by Warri-Itakpe, and now the Lagos-Ibadan project. This is one project that was started and ended by this present administration,” the minister said.
Lagos State governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu said the standard gauge rail project is a testament of the federal government’s investment in Lagos State, and expressed the people’s gratitude to the president.
“It is indeed a thing of pride to see a project start and end within the lifespan of an administration.
The social and economic importance of this project cannot be over emphasised. The commissioning of this rail line has made it possible for people to work in Lagos and live in Ibadan,” the governor stated.
Chairman of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), which handled the project, Mr. Jiang Yigao, said the company has been in Nigeria for 40 years and described the rail project as one of the biggest projects the company has handled.
Chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) board, Alhassan Musa Ibrahim, said the project encountered a lot of challenges but the government’s determination ensured its conclusion.
The Nigerian railway modernisation project, Lagos-Ibadan section with extension to Lagos Port at Apapa, starts from Lagos, the largest port city in Nigeria, and runs north-eastward through Abeokuta to Ibadan.
The length of the main line is 156.8 km with 6.51km extension to Apapa port. It connects three important states in the south-west region namely; Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states.
The project adopted the Chinese railway standard, with a designed speed of 150 Km/h. It is a double-track standard gauge railway, using diesel traction and automatic blocking system.
There are 21 large and medium-sized bridges, with a total length of 6.08 km, 12 frame bridges, 256 culverts, 25 overpasses and ten stations on the project. The track-laying covers a total length of 380.03 km.