The federal government yesterday hinted that it had set a September 2019 date for the groundbreaking ceremony of the University of Transportation Daura, Katsina State even as it noted that it would be closely followed by the establishment of a factory in Kajola, Ogun State, for the manufacturing of some of the materials for the construction work of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan rail project.
Disclosing this shortly after inspecting the pace of work of the rail project along Ibadan corridor, Oyo State, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who barely two days after being sworn in, instructed contractors handling the project to as a matter of urgency speed up the pace of work and get to the sea port so that they could evacuate the goods at the seaport
Ameachi, durig the inspection tour, revealed: “We have also agreed with them to have between September and October for two major ground breaking ceremonies. One, the University of Transportation at Daura and then a ground breaking ceremony at Kajola.”
According to him, “We are insisting that they cannot continue to manufacture coaches, Locomotives and wagon in China and selling to us. So, as part of the benefits we will get out of the contract we have given them is that they will build a factory in Kajola.
“For now, they will begin to manufacture wagons but they will progress from wagon to coaches and locomotives and Nigerians will understudy them.” He reiterated that the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to ensure the development of a standard rail infrastructure in line with the best practice.
He said: “There are extra works that need to be done and there should be the provision of under passes and overpasses for free movement of vehicles crosses within Lagos metropolis. There are about sixteen crisscross and with the Lagos traffic, if all these works are not carried out, a lot of accidents will occur and people will die. We don’t want this to happen.
“There is no variation, what we said is that there is extra work because, if you go to Lagos either people will die because, there is a narrow gauge train and this new project is a speed train between 120km/hour.