President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, June 10 inaugurated the 157km Ibadan standard gauge railway for commercial operations at the Mobolaji Johnson railway station, Ebute Metta, Lagos state.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said that the the rail line which was long overdue was established to eradicate the constant gridlock motorists face on the Lagos–Ibadan highway.
CRIMECHANNELS gathered that the President described the project as another milestone in the drive of his administration to revitalize the railway system and establish it as a choice mode of transportation for both passengers and freight.
His inaugural statement reads in full, “This vital rail 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 country.”
“In clear recognition of the challenges posed to our economic growth by the absence of strong and effective infrastructure, we have in the rail sector, further to other ongoing railway infrastructure projects, embarked on the completion of the outstanding segment of the Lagos – Kano railway, which is Ibadan–Kano.”
“The Lagos–Kano railway project when completed will link the Kano–Maradi line at Kano and a rail link from the Nigeria southern ports of Lagos to Maradi in the Niger Republic will be achieved.”
The connection through rail would position Nigerian ports as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic.
“This would be beneficial to the economy through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation.”
The President further disclosed that the Ibadan-Kano project would have a connection to the Tin Can Island port as well as the West–East Coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar linking Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Aba and Uyo.