As we countdown to the final unveiling of the Lagos-Ibadan Railway as being promised by the former minister of transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, we felt the need to checkmate what’s going on in this sector since they seem to be closing up in Lagos.
AutoReportNG was in Ebute-Metta, the national headquarters of the Nigeria Railway Cooperation where there are series of construction happening simultaneously. Before we arrived at the railway compound, we decided to take a trip around Yaba as we noticed some evacuation around Yaba bus stop at the back of the popular LightHouse Cinema in Jibowu, we saw some workers of the CCECC tying to level up some places and also digging some parts, we don’t understand how this comes into manifestation but we leave them to do their job. The work from Yaba didn’t stop as we took a walk to the main compound of the NRC.
Reaching the compound, we met some security, we must, however, say that one of the challenges of reporters accessing these site despite the clearance given by Mr. Amaechi that he has mandated the securities at the site to allow Nigerians to come and take pictures of the work of the railway sites, the securities at the site seem to have their agenda, they won’t allow you to take pictures and if you show your ID card, they resort to extortion that you drop something for the boys, we hope the management of these securities outfits will caution these folks and educate them that this is a federal job and not a private company where they can do or chase people as they want, people pay for these projects by taxes and so its not a crime to see what your money is doing.
In as much as the people are not disturbed or causing a nuisance to the workers or to the environment, they should be allowed to take pictures, only Ogun State seems to have an open field for these, those in Lagos are always very difficult and overzealous.
Despite the struggles we had with the securities, we are able to inspect some sections of the work, we noticed there are three sections that are being built, there is section A, B, and C. Section A and B are at an advanced stage of about 45-55% while section C is just starting off, we noticed they are at the foundation stage of section C. We spoke to one of the workers who spoke to us in Yoruba about the stage of the work, he said, so far, work is going at a great speed, the issue they are having has to do with Lagosians and demolition of houses close to the rail track which has been carried out, he said before August, Lagos zone ought to have reached a climax.
For the records, the 156km railway was billed at $1.6 billion and it will cut across 3 southwest states namely, Lagos, Ogun and Oyo state. At the completion of this rail, those in Lagos can get to Ibadan in less than 40mins time and it will help to decongest the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Mr. Amaechi last year promised that the railway will be ready before May 2019 but the company handling the rail can not deliver as planned. We looking forward to new date this time around.
AutoReportNG walked around the site briefly and we are able to capture some pictures for your view.