Coronavirus renders Lagos-Ibadan rail project hanging

FILE: Amaechi, in white, inspecting the Lagos – Ibadan railway project

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) that is currently on deadly visits to many countries is having its negative impacts on projects, especially those being handled by the Chinese. One of these is the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, the completion of which is not certain.

The Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi, in interview on African Independent Television, said many workers handling the Lagos-Ibadan rail project are stuck in China “because of the outbreak of Coronavirus”. Worse still, the Chinese government, he revealed further, “prevented some of the workers from returning to Nigeria because of the virus.”
In his words: “If not for Coronavirus, I would have said that we are nearly finished with the Lagos-Ibadan rail. The bulk of the workforce is still in China. The government of China did not allow them to return and that has delayed the work on Lagos-Ibadan.”
“We are still test-running the tracks. Commercial activities are yet to commence fully. To test-run the tracks, we brought in two coaches, each coach takes about 25 passengers. So, the two coaches take about 50 passengers.
“We have got signals from the passengers and the engineers that the tracks are ready to run, but we need to complete communication, signaling and station buildings. Once that is done, we are good to go.

“We are bringing in 20 new coaches and four new locomotives, 10 coaches will be deployed in Abuja-Kaduna and the other 10 in Lagos-Ibadan.”