From Godwin Obi, Lagos
THE Minister of Transportation, Right Rotimi Amaechi has assured that work will commence tomorrow, on the Apapa corridor of, the Lagos-Ibadan Rail project.
The assurance came after the Federal Executive Council last week, approved N72.9 billion for the reconstruction of the road from Apapa to the Toll Gate on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Amaechi who paid a working visit to the Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja in Lagos State, also affirmed that contractors would move to site to continue the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project from Apapa as part of efforts to solve solution to the perennial traffic gridlock in the axis.
“You would recall that the federal government had commenced construction of the Lagos-Ibadan railway and the focus was more on the Ibadan and Abeokuta axis because we had challenges in Lagos which included utilities and not much with the communities. I think I have to commend the communities that allowed us to use their land, though, we would pay compensation but not much. So, we are grateful to all the communities from Lagos to Ibadan,” Amaechi said during his visit to Ambode.
“However, we have utility challenges with both gas pipes and water and beyond the gas pipes; we also have challenges with bridges to either build or demolish. I remember when we said we wanted to demolish the Costain Bridge, everybody screamed and we had to invite the Lagos Governor to assist us; he took us there and promised that he would pay the compensation.
“I like the fact that the Lagos State Government is also contributing to these efforts. So, what we have come here to do is to ensure that there is a win-win situation and the Lagos Governor has been very cooperative,” the minister stated.
Ambode commended the Federal Government’s action to commence work on the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project from the Apapa axis, expressing optimism that the development would go a long way to enhance movement of cargos from Lagos to other parts of the country.
“We want to use this platform to thank the President and the Federal Executive Council for approving the reconstruction of the Tin Can-Apapa-Oshodi Expressway up to the Toll Gate which was done on Wednesday.
“This is in continuation of our efforts at finding a permanent solution to gridlock in the Apapa axis. We just want to reiterate our commitment to collaborate with the Federal Government to ensure that we reduce the sufferings of Lagosians.
“I am happy that we have emerged from this meeting, with the Federal Ministry of Transport, to ensure that this rail project is delivered within the next six to 12 months,” the governor said.
From Godwin Obi, Lagos