Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Lagos-Ibadan standard guage railway line project, which was flagged off on Tuesday, will be completed and ready for use by December 2018.
Osinbajo said this on Tuesday in Lagos during the flag-off ceremony of the project which he described as very close to the heart of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The acting President said that the rail line is just one segment of the Lagos-Kano railway project, which is an essential part of the national rail project.
“If there is a project close to the heart of the president, it is this rail project he personally promised the people of this nation,” Osinbajo said.
“Our appreciation goes to the Chinese government, who has always proven to be reliable partners with Nigeria.
“As some may be aware, we have the entire Lagos-Kano standard guage track, as well as the Lagos-Calabar railway track in the 2017 budget.”
The acting President also revealed that “negotiation of the Kaduna-Kano portion of the track is now completed” and “is next in line.”
He added that the federal government has “already provided our portion of funding for the Lagos-Calabar route as well.”
“We expect that negotiations for the foreign component of the funding will be finalised in the next few months. The Lagos-Calabar rail will come on stream,” he promised.
Osinbajo noted that the ultimate aim of present administration is to restore Nigerians’ confidence in using the railway for both commercial and personal travels.
He said that economically, “the national railway project will create up to half a million jobs, and facilitate the movement of over 3.2 tonnes of cargo per annum.”
The rail line is expected to transport people and cargo at a speed of 150 kilometres per hour.
The acting President commended the efforts of the Ministers of Finance and Transportation, Kemi Adeosun and Rotimi Amaechi, for their efforts at seeing that the project was kicked off.