President Muhammadu Buhari has on Thursday commissioned the 157 kilometres Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line for commercial operations at the Ebute Metta terminal of the Mobojaji Johnson railway station in Lagos State. According to Femi Adesina, presidential spokesperson, the project was established to reduce the heavy traffic congestion on the Lagos-Ibadan highway. Speaking during the inauguration, Buhari noted that the railway project was another milestone achieved by the present administration in its efforts of revitalizing the transportation system for both passenger and freight.
He pledged that the railway system will be prioritized by his administration as a transportation backbone in a bid to revamp the industrial and economic sectors in the country.
“This vital line establishes an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport within its short corridor, Lagos–Ibadan, as goods to the hinterland would now be transported by rail directly from the Apapa port Quayside straight to the Inland Container Depot located in Ibadan from where it can be distributed to other parts of the country,” he said.
“In clear recognition of the challenges posed to our economic growth by the absence of strong and effective infrastructure, we have in the rail sector, further to other ongoing railway infrastructure projects, embarked on the completion of the outstanding segment of the Lagos – Kano railway, which is Ibadan–Kano.
“The Lagos–Kano railway project when completed will link the Kano–Maradi line at Kano and a rail link from the Nigeria southern ports of Lagos to Maradi in the Niger Republic will be achieved.
“The connection through rail would position Nigerian ports as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic.
“This would be beneficial to the economy through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation.”
The president also said that the project would have a link with the Tin Can Island Port and the West-East Coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar, linking Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Yenagoa, PortHarcourt, Aba, and Uyo.