President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the 157-kilometer Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway line which extends to Apapa Ports, directing that henceforth, goods meant for the hinterlands should be transported through the rail line to the dry port in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The president, who inaugurated the $1.7 billion project for commercial operations, described the commissioning as another milestone in the efforts of his administration to revitalise infrastructure.
He said the railing, which is connected to the Apapa Port quay, is a vital line which establishes an end to end logistics supply chain in railway transport within the Lagos-Ibadan corridor.
According to him, the goods would move directly to the Inland Container Port in Ibadan from where it would be distributed to the country.
He said the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line which is a section of the Lagos-Kano rail was in clear recognition of the challenges posed to the nation’s economic growth by absence of strong and effective rail infrastructure.
He stated that the Lagos-Kano rail line which is 2,773 kilometres when completed would link the ongoing Kano-Maradi line which terminates at Maradi, Niger Republic.
The line from Lagos, he stated, would position the country’s port as a preferred choice for import and export of goods by the people of landlocked Niger Republic.
“This would be beneficial to the economy through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation,” he said.
He directed the Ministries of Transportation and Finance to engage relevant partners for the development of Ibadan-Kano railway and connection to Tin-Can Island Port as well as the Coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar, linking Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Port Harcourt, Yenagoa and Oyo.
He added, “From the beginning of this administration, railway infrastructure development has been given the priority it deserves and various milestones are being reached right from when Abuja-Kaduna railway was flagged off in 2016.”
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said the delivery of the project was as a result of the “full support and steadfast encouragement” of the President.
Amaechi said for instance in Abeokuta, Ogun State, over 1000 houses were demolished.