BY ADAKU WALTER
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has disclosed that with President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval to re-design the Lagos-Calabar Rail Corridor, it will now cover the Lekki Deep Seaport, which hitherto was not factored into the rail network.
Amaechi gave the hint during the launch of the Ogun State Strategic Transport Master Plan and commencement of the Gateway Bus Pilot Scheme at the Ogun State Government House, Abeokuta.
Stakeholders in the maritime sector had expressed concerns that if this was not done, the traffic congestion being witnessed in and around the Apapa Port would be replicated at the Lekki Port.
Amaechi, however, assured that there are hopes that construction works would commence soon on the entire project, The Trumpet gathered.
He said the project when started would pass through Ogun State and proceed to the South-South region, adding that the project will now commence from Lagos through Apapa to Epe and the Lekki Deep Seaport to ease the traffic been witnessed in Apapa.
While also identifying the importance of transportation, the minister said: “One thing about transportation is what you do with railway, because it must end at a terminal point. When you come down from that terminal, you must move either by leg or by car. Not only have we done the Lagos-Ibadan railway, we will soon commence the construction of the Lagos-Calabar railway and it will pass through Ogun State, as it goes to the South-South region.
“The President has approved that we should redirect the initial design of the railway from Lagos through Apapa to Epe and to the Lekki Deep Seaport to ease the logjam in Apapa, but the debate about it is that the Lagos-Calabar should no longer go to Lagos through Apapa, it should go to Lagos through Epe and to the Lekki Deep Seaport.
“So, we have instructed the contractor, the CCECC to do a fresh design that takes it from Ore and from there to Lekki Deep Seaport.”
Amaechi also advised the people to support President Buhari, who despite criticism of borrowing money to construct the railway, approved that the rail corridor be redesigned for the overall benefit of the masses.
He also acknowledged former President Olusegun Obasanjo for his initiative on the country’s rail master plan being implemented by the present administration and expressed hope that the next government would continue with the people-oriented project.