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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Yemi Osinbajo opens Lagos-Kano rail project, to create 500,000 jobs

• Saraki, Ambode, Amaechi, Ashafa, Akiolu task contractors
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday inaugurated the Lagos end of the Lagos-Ibadan-Kano railway project, promising that it would be delivered on or before December 2018.

Osinbajo expressed optimism that the plan would overhaul the country’s economy, provide half a million jobs and support industrialisation agenda.

He said negotiations on the Kaduna-Kano section of the project had been completed, with government providing its part of the fund for the Lagos-Calabar route and expecting the completion of negotiations with the foreign partner in the next three months.

According to the acting president, “We are confident that the national rail project will create up to half a million jobs and facilitate the movement of over 3.2 million tons of cargo per annum. It will also reduce the burden on national highways, thus reducing deterioration of the road networks.”

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode maintained that the rail project would open up the economy of the south west, boost agriculture, as it would be easy to transport farm produce from the hinterland to the cities.

Ambode said that productive man-hours would no longer be wasted on roads when the rail project is completed.

Senate President Bukola Saraki lamented the collapse of the rail system in the country, pledging that the current administration would reverse the situation.

Represented by the Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, he expressed optimism that the project would not be abandoned, promising that the Senate would see it to its completion.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said the project, which would be extended to the Lagos Seaport complex in Apapa would significantly boost the import and export business.

Amaechi said the rail line would soon be extended to Ilorin, Minna, Kaduna and Kano in no time with a link to Abuja and Ekiti.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Gbenga Ashafa advised Nigerian universities to immediately commence the training of rail infrastructure engineers to address skill shortfall in the sector.

The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu urged the Chinese contractor company to bring competent professionals to the country to be able to do a good job.

The monarch lambasted organisers of the event for starting two hours late.

Vía The Guardian Nigeria

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