Indications have emerged that the outbreak of Coronavirus may delay the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, as the bulk of the workforce doing the work is stuck in China, the home base of the disease.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who confirmed this development, when he appeared on a Televison Programme , yesterday , said the Chinese government prevented some of the workers connected with the project . from returning to Nigeria. because of the virus.
He said , If not for coronavirus, the Lagos-Ibadan rail would almost have been completed, adding that the bulk of the workforce is still in China, because the government of that country did not allow them to return, and that has delayed the project.
The minister also explained that the government was still test-running the rail tracks, saying that it would deploy 10 coaches each, to the Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kaduna rail lines to ease passenger movement.
“We are still test-running the tracks. Commercial activities are yet to commence fully.To test-run the tracks, we brought in two coaches, each coach takes about 25 passengers. So the two coaches take about 50 passengers.
“We have got signals from the passengers and the engineers that the tracks are ready to run, but we need to complete communication, signaling and station buildings. Once that is done, we are good to go.
“We are bringing in 20 new coaches and four new locomotives, 10 coaches will be deployed to Abuja-Kaduna and the other 10 to Lagos-Ibadan”, according to him.