The National Assembly on Thursday doubted the delivery of the Lagos-Ibadan Standard gauge rail line by December.
The Senate Committee Chairman on Land Transport, Senator Gbenga Ashafa stated this on Thursday during a joint oversight functions visit between the Senate and the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation’s visit to the project site.
He said the contractor –Messrs China Civil Engineering Construction (CCECC), has also pleaded for more time, and he urged the contractor to duly infirm the government on time should there be a need for an extension.
On Ashafa’s team are Senator Lanre Tejuoso and the Chairman House Committee on Land Transport Hon. Aminu Sani Isa, among others.
The Senator however expressed satisfaction at the pace of work, adding that the committees are satisfied that the contractor is determined to deliver on the project on schedule.
Ashafa, had prior to fielding questions, intoned that the Senate had been partnering with the Federal Government in the rail revitalization, which according to him, has proven to be at the heart of government’s infrastructural development.
He said: “We are here to confirm the progress we are seeing on paper, prepare a score card and come up with workable strategies that would enable us finish strong as a team in 2019.”
According to him, the contractor had requested an extension of the deadline, hinging the requests on some challenges being faced along the project corridor.
He listed some of the challenges pointed out by the contractor to include encumbrances such as the right of way along the Lagos corridor, such as the relocation of water pipelines, bridges, and the relocation of the railway station being proposed for Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
He said: “While we would hasten to urge the contractor to adhere to the deadline, we would want to say that they should let the Nigerian government know on time if they would need more time to deliver on this project.”
He said he and his team are happy with the level of progress on the project, adding that “even if what we have seen here from Lagos up to Ibadan is what this government was able to showcase before December, Nigerians would know that the government is committed to bequeathing to them a modern rail system”
Also speaking, Hon Isa said the oversight visit was to avail Nigerians an opportunity of verifying that the work rate match government disbursements.

From Left, Managing Director Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr Fidet Okhiria,Vice Chairman House Committee On Transport,Mr Adesegun Adekoya, Chairman House Committee On Transport,Aminu Sani Isa And Chairman Senate Committee On Transport, Sen. Gbenga Ashafa During The Joint Senate Committee On Transport On The Oversight Visit To Nigerian Railway Corporation/ China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) In Lagos
He said he is satisfied with the extent of work, which has gone to underscore the federal govertnment’s commitment to a modern rail system.
However, responding to the extent of work and the possibility for an extension, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria said the Federal Government is irrevocably committed to deliver I ng the project by December.
He said: “With the rate at which the contractor is going we are sure that it could still be completed on schedule or within a month or two more months nonetheless. The major issue are civil works as the track laying can be completed within a month or two.”
Okhiria said the contract is going on at a good speed. He also disclosed that the contractor has laid a total of 17 kilometres of rail. The entire rail track which stretches on bridges, tunnels and flat ground is about 135 kilometres.
From Left, Managing Director Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr Fidet Okhiria,Vice Chairman House Committee On Transport,Mr Adesegun Adekoya, Chairman House Committee On Transport,Aminu Sani Isa And Chairman Senate Committee On Transport, Sen. Gbenga Ashafa During The Joint Senate Committee On Transport On The Oversight Visit To Nigerian Railway Corporation/ China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) In Lagos
The Federal Governments awarded $1.5 billion Lagos Ibadan standard gauge project in March 2017 and had fully paid the 15% counterpart funding which is financed undr the Chinese Exim bank to the Chinese government.