Nigeria has reacted to social media allegation of overpricing of the contract sum of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project, revealing the cost to be US$1.58 billion against US$2 billion being peddled.
The contract for the rail had become necessary to free the Lagos-Ibadan road with the highest traffic in Nigeria of the encumbrances and give fillip to passengers.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mr Sabiu Zakari, said the cost index/km of the project is 4.09 million dollars as against the 13.6 million dollars also alleged by a section of the media.
He assured Nigerians that the Lagos-Ibadan railway project was being executed in the spirit of transparency and accountability, which the present administration stood for.
According to him, the clarification became imperative following insinuations by some media organisations that the project was inflated over and above “a non-existent one in Ghana”.
Zakari said that information has it that “at best, the said Ghanaian project is at conceptual stage as there were neither construction designs nor cost estimates.
“Similarly, to give credence to the fact that there is no basis for comparism as raised by the allegations, the Ghanaian government has since refuted the publication.”
He described the said Ghanaian project as containing a lot of factual inaccuracies.
Zakari explained that the Lagos-Ibadan railway project was actually 386km since it is a double track rail line.
He said this was against the 156km alleged which is just the distance from Ebute Meta (Lagos) and Ibadan terminal stations only.
According to him, railway project does not depend solely on the distance between terminal points but rely on various factors.
He listed some of the factors to include but not limited to terrain, core operation accessories, land acquisition and compensation, earthworks, bridges, culverts and stations.
The permanent secretary said that ‘Due Diligence’ was followed in the award of the contract.
He said the project was approved by Federal Executive Council after a Certificate of No Objection by the Bureau of Public Procurement was issued.
The first segment of the project was approved in 2012 while the current administration approved the second segment to link Ebute Meta (Lagos) to Apapa Port complex to ease the perennial traffic.