After the suspension of Lagos-Ibadan free train ride from Iju-Abeokuta before the 2019 Nigeria election, the Federal government gives reasons on the causes of the suspension.
Prior to the elections, it was gathered that about 2,500 passengers benefited from the free test run, which lasted for two weeks.
On the reasons why this free train was suspended by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), the Minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, stated that it was because of the election and also because the work is yet to be completed, thus making it unsafe for passengers.
The minister said:
“The slowdown of work was due to the elections as their company policy compelled most of them travel back to their country for the elections, but they are just coming back and the speed will increase.
“It was suspended by the Chinese and the excuse they gave me was that they cannot allow it run because of safety since they have not completed the second line but they are almost through with it. It is almost completed from near Iju to Abeokuta.
“I want to apologize to Nigerians that they suspended it when they left the country, which I didn’t envisage."
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amechi gave out two main reasons
He also added that soon the work on the train will commence again and hopefully the work will be concluded before the beginning of the rainy season. Mr Amechi couldn't say exactly when the overall project will be finalized.
“If you look closely you will see that there are gaps that we want them to fill and they promised that we can get to km 95 with track laying but they can’t guarantee to km120.”
“We must finish civil works before the rains and after that what’s left is just laying of tracks and then the stations which they have already started so we cannot give a date and time.”
The minister also said that the completion of the train station will create jobs for Nigeria citizens. It will also provide an alternative for travelling by road.
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“Also, the economy of Nigeria can be driven most importantly, if we can link the seaport to the hinterland because when cargoes come, they must go.
“The more you are able to move goods and services to the hinterland, the more you will create jobs and the more you create jobs, the more growth that you will have and that is my drive."