The 157 kilometers Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway in Nigeria has officially started commercial operations following an inauguration by President Buhari at the Mobolaji Johnson Railway Station, Ebute Metta, Lagos.
According to the president “this vital line establishes an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport within its short corridor, Lagos – Ibadan, as goods to the hinterland would now be transported by rail directly from the Apapa port Quayside straight to the Inland Container Depot located in Ibadan from where it can be distributed to other parts of the West African Country.
Shortly after he inaugurated the project, President Buhari took a ride from Ebute Metta Station to the Energy Nature Light (ENL) Terminal, which is located in the Port of Apapa. He was accompanied by the country’s Minister of Transportation, Speaker of House of Representatives, Governor of Lagos State, the Lagos State Minister of Transportation, and Ekiti, Oyo, and Ogun state governors as well as the Deputy Governor of Ondo and some other government officials.
The Lagos-Ibadan line is a double-track standard gauge rail, the first of its kind in the West Africa region. It runs from Nigeria’s economic hub and most populous city, Lagos, to Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state, with a total of 10 stations.
With trains operating at a maximum speed of 150 km/h, the infrastructure according to the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCEC), cut the travel time between the two cities to two hours.
This project is the second segment of the new 2,733km Lagos–Kano Standard Gauge Railway line project. The latter is a modernization initiative in the West African country aimed to replace the existing British-built Cape narrow gauge system, which has a lower design capacity and is in a deteriorated condition, with a wider standard gauge system and allowing high-speed train operations on the railway network.
Construction of Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line to start in December
The laying of tracks of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line is expected to kick start in December 2017. This is according to Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi.
Due to the construction of the rail line, the Jibowu and Costain bridges in Lagos will be demolished to give way to the new railway lines. Executing the project is the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC).
“The two bridges that we may likely demolish are Jibowu and Costain to give way to the rail lines. But we are rebuilding them immediately; we are not going to abandon them,” said Minister Amaechi.
“The challenges will be in the cities like Lagos, Abekouta, and Ibadan because we have to pay compensation, look at the water pipes, gas pipes, houses, and cables. In Lagos especially, we deal with bridges, electric cables, and water pipes and other assets,” he added.
Nonetheless, the CCECC is consulting with Lagos State Water Corporation, and Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation( NNPC), among others, to facilitate the relocation of water and gas pipelines that are parallel to the railway lines.
Parts of the rail lines that would be used for the project are expected to arrive in the country by end of November.
Speedy work on the project
What’s more Minister Amaechi called for speedy work by CCECC so as to meet the deadline. He further called on Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to ensure that adequate security is provided for officials of CCECC handling the construction of the rail line.
The Coordinator of the project, Mr. Leo Tim, is urged to complete the necessary documentation to facilitate the provision of security on site by relevant security agencies.
The minister visited Ijoko, Papalanto, Itori, and Ewekoro communities in Ogun State as part of the monthly site monitoring to ensure the project met the timeline by December 2018.
Nigeria to demolish Jibowu and Costain Bridges for Lagos-Ibadan rail project
The Federal Government of Nigeria has confirmed it is going to demolish the Jibowu and Costain bridges in Lagos State to pave way for the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan rail project.
Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, issued the demolition confirmation statement shortly after his inspection tour on the Lagos-Ibadan rail project.
“The Jibowu bridge and that of the Costain, we have agreed the two of them have to go. We have agreed with the governor of Lagos State on the arrangements we have to make before the bridges go. They cannot just go like that because of the management of traffic,” said Amaechi.
“So, what we agreed on is that we are constructing new bridges at Costain so that by the time we finish them, we will demolish the existing ones,” he added. He further added that the one at Jibowu, they will build a flyover across it before demolishing it.
Amaechi equally spoke on the challenges of the gas pipeline crossing the railway line, explaining that, if the issue of the transmission lines with the NNPC gas pipeline is not addressed, then there will be no railway line.
“I cannot tell you how soon we can do that because I am not with the NNPC. But what we know is that we have a target date. However, I want to say that there is no way you can do construction without challenges in different forms and kinds,” said Amaechi.
“The difference between this construction and the rest is that journalists are physically present with the minister while the work is going on. In other constructions, what the journalists may see is the finished product and may not know what they went through,” he commented.
Speaking on the completion of the rail project; “do not forget that the contract is for three years, but we are chasing the Chinese to see that they finish it in 2018. We have made it clear that we need it before January 2019.”
Nigeria requires US $40 billion to complete the Lagos-Ibadan railway project
The Federal Government of Nigeria needs US $40bn to finance the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan railway project. This is according to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Meanwhile, the government is negotiating with contractors handling the project to raise funds for the project, stressing that everything will be done to finish the project this year.
“We need between US $36bn and US $40bn. Only God knows where we are going to get it. But I may apply what I did as Rivers State governor. When there is a project, we put on the table how much we have. We will just award the contract, believing that God will do it for us. You will say that it is naive but at the end of the day, we got money to pay the contractors. The Government will also focus on Kano-Kazure, Daura, Katsina, Jibya, and link Maradi in the Niger Republic, as part of the regional railway inter-connectivity of the ECOWAS sub-region,” said Mr. Amaechi.
According to Mr. Amaechi, procurement of the locomotives and coaches will ease movement on the Abuja-Kaduna rail service.
“This is indeed a clear demonstration of this government’s commitment to accomplish a functional and efficient national rail transport. Such commitment has brought us into tangible ongoing rail project,” said Mr. Amaechi.
“It would be recalled that the President commissioned and flagged-off commercial rail operation, the first Nigerian standard gauge rail, which runs from Abuja in Idu to Rigassa in Kaduna, in July 2016. This service has continued to be a success story and evidence that this government is committed to developing an efficient rail system that will meet the expectation of Nigerians,” he added.
Construction works of the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project are to commence this August
The Federal Government of Nigeria has assured that work on the Apapa corridor of the Lagos-Ibadan Rail project will commence this August.
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode confirmed the statement and commended the Government’s action expressing optimism that the development would go a long way to enhance the movement of cargos from Lagos to other parts of the country.
The Government also approved US $203.6m for the reconstruction of the road from Apapa to the Toll Gate on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi also affirmed that contractors would move to the site to continue the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project from Apapa as part of efforts to solve solutions to the perennial traffic gridlock in the axis.
“You would recall that the Federal Government had commenced construction of the Lagos-Ibadan railway and the focus was more on the Ibadan and Abeokuta axis because we had challenges in Lagos which included utilities and not much with the communities. I think I have to commend the communities that allowed us to use their land, though, we would pay compensation but not much. So, we are grateful to all the communities from Lagos to Ibadan,” said Amaechi.
“However, we have utility challenges with both gas pipes and water, and beyond the gas pipes; we also have challenges with bridges to either build or demolish. I remember when we said we wanted to demolish the Costain Bridge, everybody screamed and we had to invite the Lagos Governor to assist us; he took us there and promised that he would pay the compensation,” He noted.
“I like the fact that the Lagos State Government is also contributing to these efforts. So, what we have come here to do is to ensure that there is a win-win situation and that the Lagos Governor has been very cooperative. He cooperated all the way from the beginning till now and what we have decided is that the CCECC should move back to Lagos to commence construction because we are insisting that by December, we should complete the Lagos-Ibadan Railway.” Ameachi added.
The Federal Government has also awarded the contract to deal with the road between Apapa and Tin Can enable us to evacuate cargos freely which is an addition to the rail. In his remarks, Governor Ambode commended the Federal Government for approving the reconstruction of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway as part of efforts to find a lasting solution to the perennial traffic gridlock around the axis.
“We want to use this platform to thank the President and the Federal Executive Council for approving the reconstruction of the Tin Can-Apapa-Oshodi Expressway up to the Toll Gate which was done on Wednesday. This is in continuation of our efforts at finding a permanent solution to gridlock in the Apapa axis. We just want to reiterate our commitment to collaborate with the Federal Government to ensure that we reduce the sufferings of Lagosians,” said Governor Ambode.
“I am happy that we have emerged from this meeting, with the Federal Ministry of Transport, to ensure that this rail project is delivered within the next six to 12 months,” he added.
Nigeria to commission the Lagos-Ibadan Railway
Nigeria is set to commission the much-awaited Lagos-Ibadan Railway. According to CCECC Fuzhou Survey & Design Institute Co. Ltd which is the design arm of the CCECC responsible for designs and implementation, final 3D renderings of all 5 railway terminals have been completed.
The railway project has been ongoing for close to 2 years now. It is set to pass through 3 states which are Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo State. Each state will have at least a mega rail terminal except Lagos, the terminals will be built in Ebute-Metta, Agege, Papalanto, Abeokuta, and Ibadan.
The virtual and real design combination made up, indicates the modern and flowing architectural features of the traffic building, filled up by the fast-moving era. In March, it was reported that 125km out of the 150km of this railway has been completed, and the company hopes for a soon test run and adjustments.
According to CCECC, the station combines a variety of local elements: Lagos station’s line sided with line top type, with a total construction area of 11,000 square meters, and two 4 lines, inspired by the wings of the national bird black-crowned crane. The lines and mottled patterns on the facade show the traditional textile charm of Nigeria.
The Papalanto station is line-side flat with a total construction area of 1,180 square meters. Two 4 lines. With a patchwork line, it tells the daily life story with rich life, reflecting the vibrant urban form; Ibadan station is line-side flat, with a total construction area of 2,114 square meters, with two 4-line facades with beautiful and smooth lines. The combination of virtual and real design shows the modern and flowing architectural features of the traffic building, full of the fast-moving era.
Construction of Lagos-Ibadan railway to be completed in April 2020
Construction of the Lagos-Ibadan railway is set to be completed in April 2020. Nigeria’s Minister for Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi made the revelation shortly after inspecting the project site in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. He also confirmed that test-running of the train would commence by the end of November 2019.
Completion as scheduled
Amaechi reiterated that, at the pace at which the contractors are currently working, he was optimistic that the completion period would be achieved. The minister said that the contractor had assured them that by December 20th this year, the laying of tracks would have gotten to Ibadan. This means that the focus will no longer be on the tracks but on the completion of the stations, communication, and Signal operations, and once all this is achieved, they will be out of Ibadan.
“They are eager to complete the stations but the constraint at the moment is that the equipment has not arrived from China, and our argument is that they should get some things from Nigeria. They are expecting pipes and other things, and they requested that we should give them one or two months to complete the stations,” he said.
Flyovers and overhead bridges
The minister also revealed that the contractor had equally wanted to import glasses and doors from China but they put pressure on them to source them from Nigeria in order to quicken the time with which they would install them. The minister noted that the completion of the Lagos end of the project was a huge task as the construction of new flyovers and overhead bridges was progressing steadily.
Amaechi also emphasized that the safety of the people around rail lines must be put into consideration at all times. He, therefore instructed that buildings close to the rail line be bought off, demolished, and fenced out to create adequate space for the railway line and to also protect the people living around there.
Track laying work for Lagos-Ibadan railway line project in Nigeria complete
The track laying work for the 312km-long double-track standard gauge Lagos-Ibadan railway line project between Lagos and Ibadan in Nigeria is now fully complete. This was reported by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the company in charge of the US$ 1.53bn project, on its Twitter handle.
CCECC was awarded the project back in 2012 but could not commence the work immediately due to the paucity of funds. The beginning of the construction work was marked by a spectacular groundbreaking ceremony performed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in March 2017 after the project received funds from the Nigerian and Chinese governments.
When fully operational, the Lagos-Ibadan railway line project is expected to have 10 stations and trains operating at a maximum speed of 150 km/h. This project is the second segment of the new 2,733km Lagos–Kano Standard Gauge Railway line project.
Lagos closes Ilupeju bypass for Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Project
The Lagos State Government has announced the closure of the Ilupeju bypass between 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday and 6:00 a.m. on Thursday. This is to allow for the Modernisation Project of the Lagos-Ibadan railway with an extension to Lagos Port at Apapa.
“The Lagos State Government will be closing down Ilupeju Bypass for the Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Project which includes laying of track along the level crossing. Ilupeju Bypass will be closed down from 8:00 pm Wednesday, 12th of August to 6:00 am Thursday, 13th of August, 2020 with an assurance that alternative routes have been provided for road users to utilize during the course of the construction,” The State Ministry of Transportation announced in a statement by its Head of Public Affairs, Mrs. Bolanle Ogunlola.
The ministry advised motorists heading towards Ilupeju from Bolade to utilize the Oshodi-Oke interchange at Olupese to descend to the right side of the road to connect Town Planning and get to their various destinations.
“Road users trying to access Ilupeju from Mushin are to go through Vono road to link Tinubu/Olateju roads to connect Ikorodu road through Ogunmokun toll gate, Ladipo Street to link Oshodi-Oke or Moshalashi to Empire which will lead them to Jibowu to connect their destinations. Motorists moving towards Agege-Motor-Road from Ilupeju will be diverted to the Town Planning way to link the Jibowu/Empire axis through Ikorodu road to access Agege Motor Road. Motorists can also utilize Oshodi-Oke to Bolade (Arena Market Area) to link Agege Motor Road as another alternative,” the statement added.
The ministry said that the closure had been slated at night to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted flow of work on the rail tracks of the Lagos-Ibadan Railway. It urged road users to comply with the traffic directions put in place to minimize inconvenience in movement; and further appealed to residents of the state, especially motorists that ply those corridors to bear with the Lagos State Government.
Nigeria has borrowed US$ 2.5bn for the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project cost
Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Nigeria under the Muhammadu Buhari administration has revealed that the Federal Government (FG) has borrowed a total of about US$ 2.5bn for the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project cost.
The funds were borrowed from the Export-Import Bank of China, one of three institutional banks in the East Asian country chartered to implement the state policies in the industry, foreign trade, economy, and foreign aid to other developing countries, and provide policy financial support so as to promote the export of Chinese products and services.
A decision to extend the rail line to the nation’s seaports
The Minister explained that the Federal Government made a decision to borrow US$ 2.5bn towards the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project cost, which was not part of the original plan, to extend the rail line to the nation’s seaports for “the economic benefit associated with it”.
“We had to take about 45 kilometers rail from Ebute-Metta into Apapa seaport. There is an additional one connecting Tincan Island Seaport to Apapa,” he explained.