$1.6bn Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project: Litigation Rocks Lagos Corridor

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By; AMOS MATHEW, Kaduna

The Chairman, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Malam Ibrahim Al- Hassan  said that the Lagos end which is the Iju to Apapa has a major challenge which intruded to the right of way.

Al- Hassan, who made this known during a project inspection at Ologun Eru, at the outskirts of Ibadan,  said “there are facilities we need to remove, facilities like gas pipeline, water pipelines some buildings are also on the corridor which we have to demolish or tell the owner to adjust, some have the approval of the NRC some are really intrusion

“The tracks have been laid up to 152 kilometres. It remains four kilometres to complete. The second track stops at 140 kilometres. I believe by the end of July, both tracks would be at the Ibadan station. We want to complete this as quickly as we can,” he said.

He explained that once the tracks were completed, the focus would be on other ancillary works such as the ongoing construction of stations and level crossings.

Al-Hassan said, “We want to complete this (track laying) as quickly as we can so that other ancillary services could continue and we could put the tracks to use. Laying the tracks is the most important part. Once we have the tracks from Lagos to Ibadan, then when you look at the stations in Lagos, the ones in Abeokuta, they are already making progress.

“By the time we finish laying the tracks, we would be able to move passengers from Lagos to Ibadan. Then the intermediary stations can come up later. We can have temporary stations if we need to.”

According to the Managing Director, NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria, more coaches and locomotives will be procured to start operations on the Iju-Ibadan corridor while work continues on the Lagos end up to the Apapa station.

For Iju to Apapa we still have some issues litigation, we pay people there normally dues but you know human being remain what they are, they also see what they can get from what is not their rightful compensation

The Ikeja end we have found solution to it, the flourmill to the port we have found solution to it. Also at Oshodi solution has been made

“So we are handling them, most times they come back and we settle out of court but we have spent much for compensation especially in Lagos axis.”

He stated that two coaches got to Papalanto recently and that by July, there would be further inspection of another set and test.

“We hope that by September more locomotives would come,” he added.

Okhiria said the corporation would use the temporary stations to operate the service from Lagos to Ibadan

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