Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has disclosed that phase one of the Ogun State Light Rail project would be due for delivery and commissioning by the first quarter of the year 2019.
Governor Amosun who disclosed this, on Monday, while unveiling the Ogun State Light Rail project at the First International Rail Conference, said the rail project would commence in January, 2017.
The Governor assured that his administration was committed to growing the state’s economy from a paltry Twenty billion to over Hundred billion in ten years through land use as well as industrial and commercial development.
“The first phase of the project will include a 57km Agbara- Berger, 54km Ofada – Sagamu and 84km Abeokuta – Sagamu – Ijebu Ode rail project among others,” Governor Amosun said.
He further revealed that the project is also targeted at meeting the housing deficit of neighboring Lagos State through intercity rail network.
This, he said, will help to explore strategic linkage with the economy of Lagos and the West African sub region.
Governor Amosun who disclosed that no nation in all parts of the world move goods on road like Nigeria, said the project would help to reduce the daily pressure on Nigerian roads.
He added that the Ogun State rail project, when completed, would further spur the development of the state in the Agricultural sector.
In his speech at the event, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who was represented by the Director, Rail Transport Services, Federal Ministry of Transport, Mr. Mohammed Babakobi, said the Federal Government intends to generate not less than 2.5 million direct and indirect jobs through rail system modernisation.
Amaechi stated that the over 117 year old rail system in Nigeria requires urgent modernisation, hence the Federal Government is committed to rehabilitating and refurbishing existing rail infrastructure as well as building new ones in order to widen the rail network.
On his part, Mr. Biodun Otunola, Managing Director, Planet Projects Limited, the brain behind the first international rail conference organized with the theme, “Nigeria Railway Industry Moving from the 19th to 21st Century,” observed that the nations’ economy will not grow if the rail system is not fixed.
Otunola however commended the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for committing over N10 billion to rail project.