Considering the loss of lives and properties that has remained hallmark of carriage of goods by road, especially petroleum products, management of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has been advised to channel more resources towards assisting the haulage sector of our economy.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Senator Gbenga Ashafa made this remark recently in Lagos during an oversight visit to Nigerian Railway Corporation to assess the level of work so far done by China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC) on the Lagos to Ibadan Standard gauge railway line.
He said that the deaths and loss of properties recorded when a fuel tanker which recently engulfed in fire at Otedola Estate in Lagos could have been been averted if the fuel was evacuated by rail.
He said: ‘‘Apart from ensuring application of appropriated funds, the purpose of the visit was to prepare a score card and come up with workable strategies that would enable us come out as a strong team”.
The chairman stated that government would ensure that it meets its obligation of 15 percent counterpart funding for the project. Ashafa also noted that since many Nigerians have enjoyed performance of Abuja to Kaduna portion of Lagos to Kano modernisation project, the yearning for completion of Lagos to Ibadan portion has grown louder.
While appreciating the level of work so far done by CCECC along the Lagos to Ibadan corridor, he expressed reservation over the December 2018 deadline for completion of the project.
He was quite optimistic that the rail project would boost commercial and economic activities along the rail corridor and by extension create job opportunities for Nigerians.
The project manager, Mr. Leo stated that based on some constraints, CCECC has requested for extension of some months from the December 2018 deadline for completion of the project.