President Muhammadu Buhari has flagged off the commercial operations of Lagos – Ibadan railway to transport both passengers and freight and the backbone that can transform industrial and economic activity.
The rail, he said, in Lagos on Thursday, is another milestone in the drive to revitalize the railway system.
“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.’’
Buhari said that the project is clear recognition of the challenges posed to economic growth by the absence of strong and effective infrastructure.
“We have in the rail sector, further to other ongoing railway infrastructure projects, embarked on the completion of the outstanding segment of the Lagos – Kano railway, which is Ibadan – Kano
“The Lagos – Kano railway project when completed will link the Kano – Maradi line at Kano and a rail link from the Nigeria southern ports of Lagos to Maradi in the Niger Republic will be achieved.
“The connection through rail would position Nigerian ports as the choice for the import and export business of the people of the landlocked Niger Republic.
“This would be beneficial to the economy through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation.’’
He said that the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Finance have been directed to vigorously act on engagement and reaching financial agreements with appropriate co-financiers to partner with the Federal Government for the development of the Ibadan – Kano railway and the connection to the Tin Can Island port as well as the West-East Coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar linking Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Aba and Uyo.
“This is already yielding the desired result as construction activities on the railway segment, Kaduna – Kano has commenced with back-end engineering activities.
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 commended the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, for his drive and tenacity to achieve the milestone, recorded today.