Earlier this week, a historic ride was made on some part of Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail under construction.
Leading the group of select passengers was Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, some others were members of the House Committee on Land Transportation, led by its chairman Abdulmumin Jibrin, officials of the ministries of Transportation and Works, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and representatives of the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), as well as a consortium of engineers and consultants.
According to the Transportation Minister, the project is expected to be completed by early 2019.
While we await its completion, AceGist brings you things you need to know about this all important project.
1. The project is the first standard guage rail line in Lagos, running between Lagos, Nigeria’s business headquarters, and Ibadan, the heart of the Southwest.
2. The original contract was a 2,733km new Lagos-Kano rail which was first awarded by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006 at a cost of $8.3bn to the Chinese company (CCECC) but could not be executed due to paucity of funds.
3. The contract was re-awarded to the same contractor by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2012 for execution in six phases, starting with the Lagos-Ibadan stretch and was scheduled to be completed by 2016. The project however, still suffered delays.
4. A ground-breaking ceremony for the project finally took place on 7 March 2017, under President Muhammadu Buhari administration with a scheduled completion date being December, 2018.
5. The project is being jointly funded by the China and Nigeria government at a cost of about $1.5bn (N458bn).
6. Chinese company, China Civil engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) is handling the project.
7. The double line Lagos-Ibadan rail spans 156.65 kilometres.
8. With Abuja-Kaduna already completed and in use, the remaining part of the Lagos-Kano that will be undertaken are: Ibadan-Ilorin (200 km)Ilorin-Minna (270 km)Minna–AbujaKaduna-Kano (305 km)
Watch video of the test run ride.