The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says the ambition of the federal government is to begin free ride on Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge rail line by November.
Amaechi made this known on Monday, while briefing journalists in Lagos, after inspection of the project.
The inspection was the second since Amaechi’s re-appointment as minister in-charge of the ministry by President Muhammadu Buhari who said the pace of work was reduced within the period the government dissolved the last cabinet.
He however stressed the need for increased pressure to ensure early completion so that the trail of train services can begin by November between Lagos and Ibadan.
The minister said he had mounted pressure on the contractor to ensure that the minor stations were completed in due course.
He, however, said that the gas pipelines at Apapa Ports had impeded progress of work, adding, “We will still work hard to see how we can achieve our goal”.
Amaechi commenced the inspection as early as 8:00a.m by visiting Lagos Station of the Standard Gauge and later moved to inspect the Apapa Ports Terminal.
The minister also inspected the construction works at the 10 stations along the 156-kilometre rail line corridor which included Apapa, Kajola, Papalanto, Abeokuta and Omi-Adio, among others and then called on the contractor to speed up work on the project before his next visit in October.
In her remarks, Saraki commended the federal government’s commitment to the project, saying that she was impressed riding on train from Lagos to Ibadan.
The minister had inspected the project in company of the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemi Saraki.
Others on the minister’s team include Fidet Okhiria, Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), and the Chairman, NRC Board of Directors, Ibrahim Al-Hassan-Musa.
Also, in company of Amaechi were the Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement, Mamman Ahmadu, and Xia Lijun, the Project Coordinator, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC).