Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, says the Lagos-Ibadan rail service will be in use by December 2018.
He made this known on Tuesday after assessing the project at Ijoko, in Ado Odo/Ota local government area of Ogun alongside Ibikunle Amosun, the state governor.
He said the fund for the project is on ground and the federal government is committed to ensuring the service is up by the fourth quarter of 2018.
“We have said 2018 and that is a presidential directive. By December 2018, we want to see locomotives running from Lagos to Ibadan,” he said.
“We are committed to achieving this and the fund obtained from China Exim Bank is already on ground to ensure that nothing obstructs this timeline.”
Amaechi however admitted that actual work on the project is being hindered by some constraints including the heights of two flyover bridges in the state.
“Primary constraint the contractor identified are the height of two pedestrian bridges in Lagos (at Oshodi and Ikeja), and an ongoing flyover bridge at Ijoko.
“The second problem was the multiplicity of level crossing on the rail’s right of way. The contractor said they could not proceed on laying the rail tracks until those impediments are sorted out.”
Amaechi said while the rail project needs a minimum height of 6.5 metres, the two bridges are about 4.5 metres high and as such, their heights would need to be raised to enable future electrification of the train’s right-of-way.
“The engineers are going to meet from today and we will also meet by Wednesday. So, by Friday, I would be meeting with Governor Amosun on the best option identified by the engineers and that’s what we’re going to take,” he added.