The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo will flag off the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge railway on Wednesday.
As a prelude to that, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi was in Lagos on last Friday to test- run the standard gauge rail from Agbado in Lagos State to Abeokuta in Ogun State to herald the event.
According to a statement by the head of Media Department in the Ministry of Transportation, Muhammad Idris, Amaechi rode in a train from Agbado to Abeokuta in the company of some senior Directors of his Ministry and Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) as well as journalists.
The Minister, the statement further hinted, stated that, the Vice President would be in Lagos to flag off the first phase of the project from Agbado to Abeokuta for passengers’ use in what he described as ‘reducing passengers time from one hour to 45 minutes’ from Lagos to Abeokuta.
Amaechi also said that he was very impressed with the level of progress of work on the Lagos-Ibadan Railway project as passengers would now travel from Lagos to Abeokuta in less than one hour.
The Minister disclosed that he had directed the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), to deploy two more Coaches from Itakpe–Warri Rail line to add to the Lagos-Ibadan Rail line stock to make it four.
He explained that after the flag off, the Lagos-Ibadan Railway would commence a test run of free passengers ride for two months.
However, Amaechi stated that the flag off of the first phase for passenger’s use would not stop continuous work from Iju to Apapa Seaport in Lagos and Abeokuta to Ibadan segments of the project.
He said: “Iju to Apapa Seaport is crucial because it will reduce the traffic gridlock associated with the Apapa Port”. And for Abeokuta to Ibadan, work has gone far on the civil work and also, they are doing what is called ‘blast work’. Another major work they have to do is the construction of Stations and Communication Systems along the corridor.
As soon as they are through with all these, they will then commence the laying of tracks”.
The Minister also disclosed that the ltakpe-Warri Railway would be commissioned as soon as the construction of the twelve Stations along the corridor was completed.