By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
President Muhammadu Buhari has flagged off 157 kilometres Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway Line for full commercial operations.
At the commissioning ceremony of the Lagos-Ibadan-Standard Gauge Railway Line held at the Mobolaji Johnson Station in Ebute Metta on Thursday, the president stated that railway infrastructure development had been giving priority by his administration thanking the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for his tenacity to achieve the milestone recorded.
He said the project was another milestone to revitalised the railway infrastructure and improve socio-economic activities in the country while calling for stakeholders engagement on the commencement of the Ibadan-Kano rail line corridor.
The Chairman, Nigerian Railway Corporation Board, Alhassan Ibrahim, stated that the event was the first time a rail project which was started and completed under the Buhari administration would be commissioned, adding that Nigerians share a common interest in infrastructure.
He thanked federal and state agencies, stakeholders and host communities including Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States for their supports and for not vandalising the project.
The ambassador of the people’s republic of China to Nigeria, Ciu Jianchun and Chairman of CCECC, Nigeria, Jiang Yigao, thanked the government of their country for providing funding for the project saying the infrastructure would enhance socio-economic development and improve the quality of life of Nigerians.
President Buhari also commissioned the Nigerian Maritime Administration Safety Agency, NIMASA’s deep blue security project in Apapa.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says an approval to commence the construction of the Kano-Kaduna rail line has been secured.
Amaechi who stated this at the commissioning ceremony of the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway Line for full commercial operations also thanked the three state governments, relevant agencies and media for their supports in the course of execution as well as delivery of the project.
He said the stations along the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway Line, were named after notable personalities in the country adding that one thousand houses were demolished in Ogun State in the course of executing the rail line.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, speaking on behalf of Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, and Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, said the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Guage railway project was a testament to the Buhari administration commitment to deliver transformation infrastructure in every part of the country.
He said Lagos had been working closely with the federal government in its collective efforts to providing qualitative infrastructure development for the socio-economic benefit of the people while thanking the president, minister and others for their contributions in making the completion of the project a reality.