A Section of Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project

Coronavirus: Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project risks delay, says Minister

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

One of the immediate effects of the Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, and its subsequent spread to other parts of the world in the last few months is being felt in the transportation sector of the Nigerian economy.

Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Minister for Transportation, has disclosed that the outbreak of Coronavirus may delay the completion of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project.

Amaechi said the delay might not be unconnected with the fact that majority of the workers handling the project are currently stuck in China, and have not returned to the country.

It was learnt that Amaechi disclosed this on a local television programme Thursday.

According to the Minister, the Chinese Government has prevented some of the project personnel from returning to Nigeria because of the Coronavirus.

He stated: “If not for Coronavirus, I would have said that we are nearly finished with the Lagos-Ibadan rail.

“The bulk of the workforce are still in China. The government of China did not allow them to return, and that has delayed the work on Lagos─Ibadan.”

The government was still test-running the rail tracks, he said.

The administration would deploy 10 coaches each to the Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kaduna rail lines to ease passenger movement, the Minister assured.

“We are still test-running the tracks. Commercial activities are yet to commence fully.

“To test-run the tracks, we brought in two coaches, each coach takes about 25 passengers. So, the two coaches take about 50 passengers.

“We have got signals from the passengers and the engineers that the tracks are ready to run, but we need to complete communication, signalling and station buildings. Once that is done, we are good to go.

“We are bringing in 20 new coaches and four new locomotives, 10 coaches will be deployed to Abuja-Kaduna and the other 10 to Lagos-Ibadan,” Amaechi said.

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