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Lagos-Ibadan train will move cargo from Apapa port by January – Amaechi

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Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said the plan is for the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge to start operating from the Apapa seaport in January 2021 after the inauguration of the new line by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said there was a need for all stakeholders to cooperate with the project contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), to ensure the delivery of the project ahead of the inauguration.

He spoke in Lagos against the backdrop of a recent disagreement between the CCECC and management of the APM Terminal over the demolition of some sections of the Lagos Port Complex to create room for the laying of rail track into the ports. But APM Terminal viewed this as impeding its operations.

The minister said he had already informed President Buhari about the inauguration arrangement, adding that the project must be completed up to the Apapa port terminal extension.

Amaechi was at the APM Terminal in the Apapa Port Complex in company with the Chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Alhassan Musa; Managing Director of the NRC, Fidet Okhiria; his Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) counterpart, Hadiza Bala Usman.

He said there was no going back on the plan to inaugurate the new rail line in January 2021.

The minister said, “I have already told the President we are commissioning it in January. So there is already an answer and we are working towards that answer and we must achieve that time because the President is aware.

“By Monday, I am going to the President’s office to give them a date and it must be January. This is not a political statement and it is not going to be Ebute-Meta to Ibadan. No. What is critical is that we must find a solution to the gridlock. The moment we begin to move wagons from the seaports, at least to Ibadan, pressure on Lagos will reduce drastically and that is my objective.”

Amaechi directed the APM Terminal to allow the rail project contractor to access the construction area as contained in the project design.

The NPA MD also restated the directive for the APMT to cooperate with the contractor to work according to the project design and specifications.

She said it was not for the terminal operator to dictate to the government and insisted that everybody was duty bound to comply with the directive of the government to fast-track the construction work.

Railway

Police arrest two suspected train vandals in Lagos

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The police in Lagos have arrested two men suspected to specialise in vandalising and stealing railway track.

They were said to have been arrested in the early hours of Monday January 30 while conveying in a private car some pieces of cut off rail track to an unknown destination.

Spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, disclosed the arrest of the two suspects on his Twitter handle.

He stated, ”At about 1am today, a patrol team from Ijora Badia Division intercepted a Mitsubishi Lancer car conveying vandalised railway tracks. The two occupants of the vehicle have been arrested. Investigation is ongoing.”

Some incidents of train derailment in parts of the country have been traced to sudden damage to rail track suspected to have been done by vandals.

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Updated: Abuja-Kaduna train services to resume Tuesday, says NRC

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The suspended Abuja-Kaduna fast train will resume operations tomorrow, Tuesday January 31, 2023, the Nigerian Railway Corporation has said.

The train service was suspended by the NRC last week after a derailment recorded at the Kubwa Station on Friday January 27.

A statement announcing the recommencement of the train signed by the NRC Director of Operations, Niyi Alli, obtained on Monday, read, “The board and management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation is pleased to announce the recommencement of the Abuja-Kaduna Train Service which was suspended on Friday 27th January 2023 due to the derailment that occured at Kubwa Station on the same date.
“The service will resume on Tuesday 31st January 2023 with the following daily schedule; KA2 departs Rigasa at 0700; Ak1 departs Idu at 10.00; KA4 departs RIGASA at 13.00hrs; AK3 departs idu at 16.00.

“However on Wednesdays only KA2 will depart Rigasa at 0700 and and AK 4 will depart Idu at 16.00.
“The corporation once again regrets any inconvenience our esteemed passengers may have experienced as a result of the temporary suspension of the service.”

 

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After presidential ride, 750-volt dedicated power to delay Lagos rail operations

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The new Lagos electric-powered metro rail, the Blue Line, inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, cannot commence immediate commercial operations, the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said.

The line, he said, would only become operational after the completion of a 750 Volt-ampere dedicated power supply source.

The train made a round trip between the Marina station and National Theatre, with residents watching in excitement.

 

The inaugural ride on the train was performed by the President in company with Governor Sanwo-Olu, his Deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, and other invited dignitaries.

The completed tracks, spanning 13 kilometres in the first phase, extend from Mile 2 to Marina, covering five stations.

Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA) constructed the rail infrastructure, which will transport 250,000 passengers daily.

The governor said the iconic Marina station commissioned by the President was designed as Africa’s metro hub with a capacity to process 28,000 passengers per hour.

He said the development of the state rail infrastructure project was to increase mobility for commuters and raise productivity to energise the state economy.

A statement by Sanwo-Olu’s Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, stated that at the event, President Buhari supervised the signing of contract by Governor Sanwo-Olu for the commencement of the project’s second phase, which will cover 14-kilometre stretch from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko.

Sanwo-Olu said the delivery of the Blue Line Rail was the culmination of the “timeless vision” of the Lagos State Government initiated by his predecessor and All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom the governor described as “the architect of modern Lagos”.

Tinubu, the governor said, developed a comprehensive road map for the state’s economic prosperity through continuous implementation of the State’s Strategic Transportation Master Plan (STMP), which envisioned six metro lines.

Sanwo-Olu said the construction of the Blue Line could have been completed years before the APC took power at the centre in 2015, but noted the project was slowed down by hostile policies of the then Federal Government led by an opposition party.

He said: “Since 1999, Lagos has not enjoyed the kind of support it is receiving from the President Buhari administration since 2015.

“The socio-economic impact of various projects we have commissioned during the President’s two-day visit bears testimony to the support and collaboration we have enjoyed from the APC-led Federal Government. Mr. President, we are proud in Lagos to be associated with your national vision for infrastructural transformation.

“The Blue Line we are commissioning today is a product of timeless vision by Lagos State, which dates back to the administration of former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu 20 years ago. One of his greatest legacies was the development of road map for the future of Lagos, which cleared the pathway for a modern, prosperous and competitive mega city. With the rail line, a journey of two hours will now take 15 minutes. This will improve quality of life for our citizens, while Lagos will grow to be one of the most resilient mega cities.”

Sanwo-Olu said the Blue Line would be operational after the completion of 750 Volt-ampere dedicated power supply source.

The governor said the iconic Marina station commissioned by the President was designed as Africa’s metro hub with a capacity to process 28,000 passengers per hour.

The governor said the development of the state rail infrastructure project was to increase mobility for commuters and raise productivity to energise the state economy.

He said the ongoing construction of the Red Line, which extends 37-kilometre from Agbado to Ebute Metta, would be completed before the end of May.

Sanwo-Olu acknowledged the courage of his predecessor, former Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, who started the Blue Line project despite opposition from the then central government.

He said: “This rail infrastructure is for the benefit of our teeming citizens who daily endure the pain of traffic gridlock from their homes to workplaces. This is about bringing relief to your mobility challenges and ensuring Lagos works for you.

“We believe this will make your journey easier and better your lives. The Greater Lagos that we promised you is rising. You can see and feel it. This is a demonstration of purposeful government.”

Dr. Hamzat described the Blue Line as “the most audacious project” to be funded by a sub national in the history of the country, noting that the Sanwo-Olu administration took the steps to complete the project given its importance to solving transportation challenges in the state.

“The excitement about this rail project is justifiable, considering the fact that it will certainly help to reduce the pressure on our roads, enhance the economic wellbeing of Lagosians and put our dear State on the same pedestal as others of its stature. People come first in all that we do, because they are the bedrock of our government,” the Deputy Governor said.

 

 

 

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