The Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr Fidet Okhiria has said that work was still ongoing on the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge rail line in spite of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Okhiria, who made this remark at the Maiden Award Ceremony/Commissioning of Office Secretariat of the Transport Correspondents Association of Nigeria (TCAN) in Lagos, said that track laying would reach Ebute-Metta Junction by March end.
The managing director, who was recognised with the Award of Excellence in Rail Development, said that though the COVID-19 had affected virtually every sector, the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), the contractor handling the project, had not stopped work.
“The work is going on, the (CCECC) are working. Work is ongoing in major stations now. Everything is taking shape.
“Nigerians should expect that by the end of this month, the track is going to get to Ebute-Metta Junction.
“All things equal by the end of March the track will get to Ebute-Metta Junction and we will be able to move the trial running to Ebute-Matta Junction instead of Iju Station.
“The track has got to Ibadan, what is remaining is for the tracks to get to Ebute-Metta Junction and then Apapa.”
The NRC boss said that the corporation was committed to delivering a modernised railway system to Nigerians.
Chairman, Board of Director, NRC Alhassan Musa who received the 2019 Award of Pillar of Railway Development in Nigeria, commended the TCAN for recognising his efforts for rail transport.
Musa described the award as a form of feedback mechanism for him and that it would further help him to put in more efforts towards the modernisation of railway.
Speaking, the Lagos State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Hyginus Omeje said that only an intermodal transportation system would reduce congestion and carnages on the road.
Omeje, who received the award of 2019 Road Safety Ambassador, decried flagrant disregard of road traffic rules and regulations, which he said had led to avoidable crashes and fatalities.
According to him, most road traffic accidents are avoidable if the rail system has been working fine as many containers that causes disaster on the road will have gone by rail or water.
“As we open up the rail transport and modernise it, we should also look at our inland waterways. We need an efficient water transport system.
“The massive infrastructural development going on in rail sector is a very positive indicator that sooner than we think, we will really get there.
“I can wait to see the Lagos-Ibadan rail project being completed and people using it,” the FRSC boss said.
Omeje, who commended the TCAN for the recognition and media support over years, said that the FRSC was committed to sensitisation and education of motoring public on the proper use of the highways.
However, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who was represented at the event, was given 2019 Doyen of Rail Transport Development Award.
Other awardees are China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation,, CCECC, the Lagos State Chairman, Road Transport Employers Association, Musa Mohammed, former Lagos State Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW),Tajudeen Agbede, the Lagos Railway District Manager, Jerry Oche among others.
Source: Voice of Nigeria