Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, at the weekend, said passengers turnout on the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail corridor has hit 42, 000 in just one month.
Recall the Lagos-Ibadan rail line was commissioned on June 10, 2021.
Amaechi, who disclosed this at the post commissioning inspection tour of the project, expressed excitement that passengers have quickly embraced the rail services along that axis, stressing that the turnout will increase in the coming months.
“On the Lagos-Ibadan trains, 42,000 passengers were moved in June. We expect the figured to increase in the coming months because if we can move 42,000 in the month that we started, then the figures will increase as more people become aware of the train services between Lagos and Ibadan.”
Speaking on maintenence to avert a similar occurrence of incessant breakdown of the train on Lagos-Ibadan tract as experienced by the Abuja-Kaduna passengers now, the Minister said, “We have written to Mr President on this issue and he has graciously approved the purchase of spare parts for the Lagos-Ibadan trains. Very soon, the Chinese people will supply us with enough spare parts for the Lagos-Ibadan rail. By the time they do that, we will be forced to use some of these spare parts for the Kaduna-Abuja trains and hopefully, the issue of incessant breakdown of the trains will be resolved.”
According to Amaechi, the incessant breakdown of the Kaduna-Abuja trains is as a result of lack of spare parts from China, but assured that some spare parts that are being expected for the Lagos-Ibadan trains will be used for the Kaduna-Abuja train locomotives when they arrive to relieve the passenger of the incessant hitch currently experienced by them.
“After the last breakdown of the Kaduna-Abuja train, I instructed the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to rest that particular locomotive. I am surprised that there was a delay related to another breakdown in the early hours of today.
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The minister also said the demand for increase in the number of trains and coaches,
while increasing the number of trips on that Lagos-Ibadan route, may be subject to the outcome of observing the signalling efficiency to ensure all that is required is in perfect working condition as planned. Although directive has been given to MD, NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria to scale up from four to eight.
Rotimi Amaechi commended TEAM ,the supervisors of the project as well as the CCECC for the quality of work done in delivering the project and urged
Nigerian contractors who are interested in handling railway projects to ensure they have the competence and pre-requisite requirements for the Jobs before applying to avoid stalling the process.