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RoW, gas pipelines hobbling December 2018 delivery of Lagos-Ibadan rail

Though the $1.5bn standard gauge railway line between Lagos and Ibadan project, whose groundbreaking ceremony was done last year by the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, then as acting president, is meant to be fully completed in December this year, indications have emerged showing that it may linger.

This is as the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has expressed worry about a number of unforeseen challenges affecting the construction of the scheme, expected to free up heavy duty traffic from the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Briefing newsmen after the monthly meeting of the Project Implementation Committee with the CCECC, Amaechi said that they were “battling with time schedule”.

“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had started the inspection of some of the gas pipelines on the right of way of the project in Ogun State.

In his remarks, the project contractor, the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), has had to contend with a number of obstructions on the rail line’s right of way such as houses, companies, gas pipelines, water pipes and overhead bridges.

Already, the Federal and Lagos State governments have agreed to demolish two obstructing bridges in Lagos, just as the Ministry of Transportation is said to be discussing with relevant authorities to remove other obstructions on the right of way.

During the inspection, the Minister, including the senior officials of the ministry and the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, toured stations like Agbado, Ijoko, Itori, Papalanto and Abeokuta.

On compensation matters, the minister said the government had settled property owners whose houses were affected in order to clear the land for the smooth take off of the project.