President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, commissioned the just completed Lagos-Ibadan Railway project at Mobolaji Johnson Railway Station, Ebute Metta, Lagos State.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President, Femi Adesina, Buhari described the feat ‘‘as another milestone in the drive of this administration to revitalize the railway system and establish it as a choice mode of transportation for both passengers and freight.’’
Adesina quoted the president as saying, ‘‘This vital 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.’’
Recall that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who was already in Lagos on Wednesday for the event, took a last minute inspection tour of the terminals and sub-stations along the 156km route.
Amaechi began the inspection at the Ebute-Metta-Apapa main complex, where work has been completed, before heading for the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Complex.
Event planners were reportedly seen at the Apapa port as of Wednesday, putting in place make-shift structures ahead of the commissioning.