By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
The completion of track laying of the on-going Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway modernisation project remains four kilometres to reach Ibadan end axis.
So far, 152 kilometres of track laying from Lagos to Ibadan has been achieved.
Alhaji Ibrahim Alhassan, Chairman, Board of Directors (Bod), Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), disclosed this on Thursday at Ibadan office of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the project conctractor, after the inspection of the project site from Lagos to Ibadan, Oyo State.
“The tracks have been laid up to 152 kilometres. It remains four kilometres to complete. I believe by the end of July those tracks will be at Ibadan station,” said Alhassan. “We want to complete this as quickly as possible so that other ancillary services will continue and we shall put the tracks to use.”
He pointed out that the Lagos-Ibadan rail transport modernisation
work is not the only project of its kind seeking urgent attention.
“There’s a section to Kano that has to be done, so we need to have the tracks laid also from Kano to Kaduna. There are other areas but we want to get these ones done. So soon as they are done we shall know where to continue,” the NRC chairman narrated.
He emphasized the importance of prioritizing projects, stressing that in the case of this project laying of tracks is most important.
Having regard to completing befitting mega stations for the project, Alhassan stressed: “When you look at the station in Lagos, the ones in Abeokuta and Ibadan are already making big progress.
“By the time we finish laying the tracks’, the NRC leader elaborated, “we shall be able to use the train from Lagos to Ibadan. The ancillary stations can come later. We can have temporary stations, if we need to, for example, portacabins, things like that.”
Stressing the need to pay attention to critical issues, he highlighted the challenges at hand. These include that there are a lot of intrusions into the right of way in the railway corridor.
According to him, some of the intrusive property were approved by the NRC while others were not.
“Some buildings encroached which we have to demolish. These are big challenges that we are facing. We also have problem of drainages; some drainages are blocked,” Alhassan stated, noting that encroachment by the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has been addressed.
Relocation of water and gas pipe lines were enumerated by him as also challenges that have to be surmounted.