Lagos-Ibadan Rail: Work Still within Specification, Says NRC


 Oluchi Chibuzor

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Sabiu Zakari, has stated that aside the temporary challenge of the landslide experienced at KM 42 of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project at Arigbajo community, which exposed gas pipeline, the project is still in accordance with the specification of the scope of work.

Zakari, who disclosed this in Papalanto, Ogun State, during an inspection tour of the standard gauge rail project, added that unforeseen circumstances are part of engineering project, such as this.

“Exactly what we wanted is what is being done which is in accordance with the specification of the scope of the work, and I believe the work done by our consultants and engineers is satisfactory, so I am satisfied,” he said.

Reacting to the landslide that exposed the gas pipeline along the track, and and has delayed the progress of slope protection for the rail track at KM 44, Zakari said: “Well that is part of the contingency  that are likely to come up when you do this type of engineering work.

“Remediating action had already been taken because that is where the gas pipeline passes through, however, the contractors are already addressing the problem.”

Meanwhile, the technical consultants to the project had stated that the continuous occurrence of the landslide broke the slope protection to the track, reiterating that they had actually constructed a retaining wall carrying about 20 to 28 meter-long pipe to support the herring bone.

They however promised that once the retaining wall is done, work would resume at the section because whatever happened in the future, the gas pipe will be protected.

Commenting further on the issue, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Board Chairman, Ibrahim Al-Hassan, said new ideas must come up in order to solve the problem, so we have to go back to the drawing board and include the outcome properly to the work.

 “On the Abeokuta station, a lift was provided by the contractor, but we saw the need to convert it to escalator considering the volume of traffic and the inconvenience to the people we are going to give service to,” he added.

On his part, the Managing Director of NRC, Fidet Okhiria, said the remaining work at the Papalanto corridor to the Ibadan is to put finishing touch to it with the remaining 4KM of the two tracks getting to Ibadan, adding that the yard and station line would soon be completed, and “we now want to concentrate on the Lagos end of the project, as we will soon start operation from Iju in Lagos, to Ibadan.”