The Permanent Secretary, federal Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari, has said the total contract sum of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project is $1,581,847,371.00. Mr. Zakari gave the specific figures following media reports that the contract cost was higher than what Ghana signed for more kilometres of rail facilities.
A statement by Anastasia Ogbonna, the Assistant Director, Press, Federal Ministry of Transport quoted the Permanent Secretary to have noted that the Lagos-Ibadan railway project is being executed in the spirit of transparency and accountability which the present administration stands for.
According to him, “the clarification became imperative following insinuations by some media houses that the project was inflated over and above a non-existent one in Ghana.” Zakari further explained that “the Lagos-Ibadan railway is actually 386km since it is a double track rail line as against the 156km alleged which is just the distance from Ebute Meta (Lagos) and Ibadan terminal stations only.”
Of note too, according to him, is the fact that railway project does not depend solely on the distance between terminal points but rely on various factors which include but not limited to terrain, core operation accessories, land acquisition and compensation, earthworks, bridges, culverts and stations.
Furthermore, he stated that Due Diligence was followed in the award of the contract as the project was approved by the Federal Executive Council after a Certificate of No Objection by the Bureau of Public Procurement was issued.
It would be recalled that the first segment of the project was approved in 2012 while the current administration approved the second segment to link Ebute Meta (Lagos) to Apapa port complex to ease the perennial traffic gridlock that has defied solutions.