CCECC speeds up project on Iju-Lagos rail segment
Engineering solutions have been deployed to the many impediments stalling the pace of work on the Iju to Lagos section of the $2.1bn Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail by the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC); the contractor handling the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project.
As at the time of filing this report, CCECC has commenced excavation, formation and re-protection of gas and water pipelines along the Lagos corridor of the project.
Before now, the pipelines were some of the impediments that have slowed down the pace of work on section one of the project covering Ebute-Metta and Iju in Lagos.
But from Kilometer 23 in Iju to Ebute-Metta, the work has witnessed some challenges owing to many encumbrances including water and gas pipelines. The contractor had completed track laying from Iju in Lagos to kilometer 157 which is the final destination of the project in Ibadan.
Some of the pipelines belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Lagos State Water Corporation (LSWC) are being excavated to lay the formation while the pipelines would be protected.
Our correspondent reports that with the impediments on Lagos axis being removed, there are indications that track laying from Iju to Ebute-Metta would commence anytime soon as the contractor has gone far in securing the right of way.
The right of way from Ebute-Metta, Tejuosho, Mushin, Oshodi, Ikeja and Agege where several bridges and culvert were being constructed is being secured. Also, the contractor has also shifted the narrow gauge tracks in some sections while a new one would be constructed to ensure both the narrow gauge and the standard gauge run simultaneously.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) had suspended the operation of the narrow gauge which plies Lagos-Ogun; Lagos-Apapa as well as the Lagos-Kano train services because of the ongoing standard gauge construction.
A spokesperson of CCECC, Prince Abdulraouf Akinwoye said the contractor had taken full control of the many encumbrances through the application of its technical expertise and technological know-how.
He however pleaded with communities around the railway line to bear with the CCECC for the temporary inconveniences being witnessed. More so, personnel had been moved from areas where most civil works have been completed to the Lagos area in order to meet the deadline set by the Federal Government.
“We now work day and night to meet the target set by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi. We all know that Lagos axis has a lot of impediments. But I am happy to tell you that CCECC has highly competent technocrats. And we have come up with an uncommon engineering solution’’.
Akinwoye said CCECC have a mindset which is in line with the best practices all over the world, even as he said that, as far as the company is concerned, from Ebute-Metta to Iju axis with an extension to Apapa port, it is determined to give a first class standard gauge double track to Nigerians in line with the commitment of the federal government to link Apapa port by rail.
“We are going to deploy our first class engineering technology to ensure that Nigeria achieves economic buoyancy and ensure the economic status of Nigeria grows. This can only be achieved through rail’’. Akinwoye assured.