(Right) Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, at the inspection of ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Standard Guage Rail line on Wednesday in Lagos.
Ibadan, Sept. 16, The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, says the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Guage Rail line should be ready by December, considering the progress works on the construction of rail stations by contractor.
Amaechi gave the assurance while briefing newsmen in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, at the end of his monthly routine inspection tour of the project.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the minister started the inspection tour from Ebute-Meta in Lagos, in company of other management staff of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
NAN reports that though, the track laying from Ebute-Meta in Lagos to Ibadan in Oyo State, had been completed, the 10 stations along the line were at various levels of completion.
Amaechi said that there had been some improvements and progress in the construction of railways stations along the line.
He said that in some of the 10 stations along the line, the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), had finished doors, windows, roofing, flooring, ceiling and lighting.
“Olodo (Station) is just near the completion. At Kajola, what is outstanding is just painting. There are changes at Ebute-Meta. There was improvement in Kajola, Olodo, and Ebute-Meta, though, not to the extend I expect that it should be.
“They have given us the target; by the end of September, three stations will be ready.
“By the end of October, all the minor stations will be ready, that is six stations. By the end of December, every station will be ready.
“The only one station they (CCECC) are afraid of is Apapa (Station), because they started very late, but I insisted that Apapa should be completed at the same time as the rest,” he said.
The minister said he had assured the contractor of provision of a task force to help the speedy completion of Apapa Station, adding that he would come to assess the work by the end of September.
He expressed belief that everything would be put in place before the end of December for movement to passengers and goods.
“Timeline has not changed. Do they meet my target? The answer is No. My target was before we come on Sept.15 for inspection, they should have finished all the minor stations,” he added.
According to him, the excuse given by the contractor was that they didn’t have enough engineers to supervise because of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The same engineers supervising Agbado supervise Agege, that is slowing them down. For me, that is not an excuse.
“I want this work done quickly, because I want to move out of this place.
“Their position is that by next week more engineers will be coming; we expect them to isolate for seven days and work will commence. Once, work commences, they will be faster,” the minister added.
On the Oshodi train accident on Monday, Amaechi, described loss of two lives in the incident as unfortunate, urging motorists to be careful on the rail tracks.
He decried trading activities on the rail tracks, saying that there must be enforcement of law.
The minister said that government would fence the Lagos corridor to prevent people from trading and playing on the rail tracks.
On allegation of train attack on Abuja-Kaduna Standard Guage, Amaechi said that the news was not true.
On what next after the project, the minister said that apart from Ibadan to Kano rail line, the ministry had sent to the cabinet for approval of the award of two railway contracts.
According the him, the contracts are Port Harcourt – Onne -Maiduguri; Kano-Maradi Railway and Lagos to Calabar.
On the inauguration of Itakpe-Warri Railway, the minister said that President Muhammadu Buhari was ready.
Also, Mr Fidet Okhiria, the Managing Director of NRC, said that the corporation was still discussing with the contractor on when to commence skeletal operations on the Lagos-Ibadan Rail line.
Okhiria said that the rolling stocks had been delivered, but the corporation was discussing some modalities, including safety.
According to him, the NRC has not fixed any date for the skeletal commercial operation.
Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye https://nnn.ng/lagos-ibadan-rail-line-ready-by-december-amaechi/
8 burnt to death in Lagos-Ibadan expressway accident
Eight persons were on Saturday night burnt to death in a lone accident involving a Mazda bus on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
Mr Ahmed Umar, the Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abeokuta on Sunday.
Umar explained that the accident, which occurred at about 8:45 p.m. near Saapade bridge, was caused by tyre burst.
This, he said, resulted in the bus summersaulting and bursting into flames.
The sector commander added that 11 people were involved in the accident made up of three male adults, one female adult, one child and six unidentified persons.
“The suspected cause of the lone accident involving the Mazda bus marked AAA 249 VX was tyre burst which led to loss of control before crash and bursting into flames immediately,” he said.
He said that FRSC operatives contacted the Sagamu Fire Service immediately for a joint rescue operation.
Umar said that three injured victims were taken to Idera Hospital, Sagamu, for medical attention while the Health Department of Remo North Local Government Area was contacted on the burnt victims.
He advised motorists to drive cautiously, obey traffic rules and regulations and ensure that their tyres were in good condition.
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo)
Newborn safely delivered under Ajah bridge
The Lagos State Emergency Managment Agency (LASEMA) has said that its ambulance team at Eti-osa delivered Ms Blessing Emmanuel, a 35 year-old woman of a live male baby.
Dr Olufemi Damilola Oke-Osanyintolu,
LASEMA, told Newsmen on Saturday that the baby was delivered at about 4:30 p.m under the Ajah Bridge.
”The lady, who has no home nor family in Lagos, is from Cross River State.
”Mother and baby are fine and have been taken to Island Maternity where they will get expert care,” Oke-Osanyintolu said.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Omowole
NCDC records 189 new COVID-19 cases, total now 57,145
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Saturday.
“As at Sept. 19, 2020, 189 new confirmed cases and one death was recorded in Nigeria.
“Till date, 57,145 cases have been confirmed, 48,431 cases have been discharged and 1,095 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” it said.
The agency stated that the 189 new infections were reported from 15 states of the federation.
“Lagos (70), Plateau (37), FCT (24), Kaduna (19), Rivers (12), Oyo (5), Ogun (4), Ebonyi (3), Katsina (3), Ondo (3), Osun (3), Imo (2), Yobe (2), Ekiti (1), Nasarawa (1),” it said.
The agency said that cloth masks provide protection when properly worn and cared for.
“Wear mask covering your nose and mouth, handle mask with clean hands and wash cloth face masks after each use.
“MaskOnNaija with other preventive measures. Learn how to make your own face mask: covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/media/files/DI… ,” it advised.
“TakeResponsibility and adhere to all non pharmaceutical preventive measures of COVID-19 if you must travel,“ it said.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujini/Sadiya Hamza
NIDO-Ghana plans webinar to mark Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary
The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Ghana chapter, said on Saturday that it would organise a webinar as part of events to celebrate Nigeria’s sixtieth independence anniversary.
Mr Elija Iposu, Public Relations Officer of NIDO-Ghana, disclosed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria .
Iposu said the event would be organised by NIDO-Ghana in collaboration with a Ghana-based private firm, Diplomats Extra and Milestone Communications.
According to him, the webinar, which will hold on Oct. 2, is a virtual ceremony with Zoom ID: 742450910 and the title: ’60 years of Ghana-Nigeria diplomacy’.
Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, former Director-General Institute of International Affairs, and Amb. Bulus Lolo, former Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria are among high-ranking personalities expected to participate in the event.
Some other expected guests are Mr Oluwaseyi Adeyemi, Publisher, Inside Watch Africa Magazine, Mr Emmanuel Bombande, UN Senior Mediation Advisor, Prof. Baflour Agyeman-Duah, former UN Special Governance Advisor and Affail Monney, President Ghana Journalists Association.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Sept. 16, unveiled the logo and theme for the 60th independence anniversary celebration.
He said that the celebration would be observed for a whole year, to end on Sept. 30, 2021 and would be muted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim