Kazeem Akande, Augusta Uchediunor
Lagos – The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the new Lagos- Ibadan standard gauge railway project would be completed in 2018.
Osinbajo said at the ground breaking ceremony of the Segment II Lagos- Ibadan standard gauge rail track on Tuesday in Lagos.
“The acting president said that it was important to have a viable self-sustaining and improving railway services.
“The development will cut across the country; the Federal Ministry of Transportation has completed the feasibility study for up to 13 routes across the country to identify state capitals and major commercial centres.
“We should begin to see significant activities in this regard very soon.
“The fast and efficient railway service is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 2018,” Osinbajo said.
He added that it was part of the promises made by the president during the campaign period.
The acting president said that the new standard gauge would also help the country in its economic diversification process.
Mr Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation said in his speech that the projects would encourage trading and enhance exportation in the country.
Amaechi said that the new transport system would also encourage cargo services.
“The services will encourage 3. 2 million tonnes of cargo in the first year of service.
“The project in the nearest future will be extended from Ibadan to Ilorin, Minna- Kaduna and the Federal Capital”, he said.
The Oba of Lagos, HRM Rilwan Akiolu, in his speech appealed to the contractors, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) to employ indigenes during the construction.
The monarch added that majority of the youths were jobless; adding that it would be a thing of joy to employ them, rather than inviting foreigners.