President Muhammadu Buhari has officially commissioned Lagos-Ibadan railway project for the commencement of commercial activities.
The construction of the one hundred and fifty seven kilometer project, commenced in March 2017. The railway spans through three states in the South-Western part of the country namely:Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states.
Speaking at the commissioning of the project, President Muhammadu Buhari says the project is another milestone in in the drive of this adminstration to revitalize the railway system and establish it as a choice mode of transportation for both passengers and frieight.
The President reiterated his commitment to prioritise the railway system as a transportation backbone that can transform industrial and economic activities in the country.
“From the beginning of this administration, railway infrastructure development has been given the priority it deserves and various milestones have been reached, right from when the Abuja – Kaduna railway was flagged-off for commercial operation in 2016 to this Lagos – Ibadan railway project being commissioned today for full commercial operation,’’ he said.
On the benefits of the Lagos-Ibadan corridor as well as other ongoing railway projects across the country, President Buhari said:
‘‘This vital line establishes an end to end logistic supply chain in railway transport within its short corridor, Lagos – Ibadan, as goods to the hinterland would now be transported by rail directly from the Apapa port Quayside straight to the Inland Container Depot located in Ibadan from where it can be distributed to other parts of the country”.
He further said
‘‘The connection through rail would position Nigerian ports as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic.
‘‘This would be beneficial to the economy through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation”.
In his speech, the Minister of Transportation Honourable Rotimi Amaechi who harped on the economic benefits of the landmark project, said there are other four railway projects that will commence soon in other parts of the country.
The Minister appealed to the China Exim bank to approve the loan for the construction of Ibadan-Kano railway.
“As people are here celebrating today, i tell people that this place was a huge forest that we and CCECC had to go through and we have achieved it today. The celebration is not enough, it is the impact it would have on the economy; the goods and services, the personnel it would have to move in record time”.
“While we are celebrating that, we are not happy that uptil now the China Exim bank is yet to approve the loan for Ibadan to Kano because we need to start that and complete it quickly because that is my fear” he said.
“We have about three or four projects. This month, we will start Kano-Kaduna and then we will also start Port Harcourt to Maiduguri which also is CCECC and then Kano-Maradi”.
Similarly Lagos state governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu said the standard gauge rail project is a testament of federal government investment in Lagos state and the state is grateful.
“It is indeed a pride to see a project start and end within the life span of an administration. The social and economic importance of this project can not be over emphasised.
“The commissioning of this rail line will make it possible for people to work in Lagos and live in Ibadan,” the governor stated.
Shortly after he inaugurated the project, President Buhari took a ride from Ebute Metta Station to Energy Nature Light (ENL), Terminal, Apapa Port, Lagos.
He was joined by the Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Governors of Ekiti, Oyo, Ogun and the Deputy Governor of Ondo, the Minister of Transportation, the Minister of State Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, other Ministers as well as some government officials.