$1.5bn Lagos-Ibadan rail project behind schedule ―FG

Lagos-Ibadan Railway

THE Federal Government on Tuesday revealed that due to too many encumbrances on the projects right of way, the $1.5bn Lagos-Ibadan rail project earlier scheduled for completion by December 2018, might no longer be feasible.

This is even as 1400 houses inside Harmony Estate, not far from Oke-Mosan, in Abeokuta have already been identified for demolition due to the right of way issues.

Addressing journalists after an on the spot assessment of the project in Abeokuta, the Hon. Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi explained that negotiations are ongoing with some villages along the projects right of way in Ewekoro area of Ogun State.
According to Amaechi, “we are driving now to Abeokuta because we have some challenges over there. The contractor has identified over 1400 buildings to be demolished in communities along the projects right of way right inside Abeokuta in Ogun State.
” I will have to meet with the Ogun State Governor to discuss with him.
“In Lagos, we still have issues with some gas pipelines and water pipelines. The Army has given us the barracks at Yaba area, so work can commence.
“We are rushing to make sure that we complete all the civil works on the project before the rainy season, because if we don’t, then the civil works will have to wait until after the rainy season.
“The NNPC, Water Corporation and Army were all with us. It is just a challenge to build a project like like through a cosmopolitan area.
” As regards compensation, there is a huge cost overrun. With what we have in store for compensation and what we are meeting with on the projects right of way, the cost overrun is huge.
“On the job done so far, I am satisfied, even though the contractor is now behind schedule. Before, they were meeting up with the time schedule, but now they are not; and the excuse they are given me is that if we remove all the issues on the right of way, they wouldn’t be behind schedule.
“Because sometimes, we have to wait for days and weeks to get some of this issues sorted, we are now running behind the time of the project completion.
” However, I won’t be able to address the issue of lateness or not until December 2018, which is actually our target. Don’t forget, this is a three-year project that we are trying to force into a one year project.
“The civil works is what they are currently battling with, and they cannot finish the civil works if the issues on the right of way are not sorted.”
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