There has been controversy about the total amount of money spent on the Lagos-Ibadan Railway project. Contrary to speculations by some media organizations, Mr Sabiu Zakari, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, has disclosed that $1.58 billion was the total cost of the project, one month after NRC says new Lagos-Ibadan rail will be affordable (please click onto the link to check back NRC statements.)
Mr Zakari made the clarification in a statement signed by Anastasia Ogbonna, Assistant Director, Press of the Ministry, on Wednesday June 26, 2019, in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
According to him, the index cost of the project was $4.09 million contrary to the $13.6 million reported by some media outlets. The permanent secretary gave Nigerians assurances that the railway project was carried out with utmost accountability and transparency in line with the values of the current government.
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On-going work at the site of the project
Zakari stated that it became necessary to clarify things as a result of accusations by some media organizations that cost of the project was inflated over a supposed project in Ghana which has no concrete evidence of being in existence.
The permanent secretary further revealed that the supposed project in Ghana was at most in its conceptual stage as there was yet to be a construction design or cost estimate for it.
“Similarly, to give credence to the fact that there is no basis for comparison as raised by the allegations, the Ghanaian government has since refuted the publication,” he added.
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Zakara pointed out that the Ghanaian project talked about contained information that cannot be verified. The Lagos-Ibadan railway project has double tracks with 386km contrary to the 156km that was alleged.
Mr. Zakari disclosed that the total cost of project won't exceed $1.6 billion
Speaking further, he explained that there were other factors to consider in constructing a railway besides distance. Some of these factors include land acquisition, compensation, culverts, bridges and stations. He concluded by saying that the contract was awarded via due diligence.