Against report in section of the media that Lagos-Ibadan rail project cost was over-bloated, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Sabiu Zakari, said that the contract sum of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project is $1.6 billion as against the $2 billion allegedly reported and that the cost index/km is $4.09 million as against the S$13.6 million being brandied.
Zakari insisted that the Lagos-Ibadan railway project was being executed in the spirit of transparency and accountability of which the administration stands for.
This clarification is coming against the backdrop of a report that Ghanaian-European Railway Consortium (GERC) had agreed to construct a 340-kilometre standard gauge railway line in Ghana for $2.2 billion and that the Ghanaian authorities had turned down China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) owing to high cost of the project and decided to employ the services of a European firm with a lower contract sum.
The Permanent Secretary stressed that there is no basis for comparison as raised by the allegations, saying that the Ghanaian government had since refuted the publication, describing it as “containing a lot of factual inaccuracies.”
He further explained that the Lagos-Ibadan railway track is actually 386 kilometres since it is a double track rail-line as against the 156 km alleged which is just the distance from Ebute Metta (Lagos) and Ibadan terminal stations only.
According to him, the railway project does not depend solely on the distance between terminal points but rely on various factors, which include but not limited to terrain, core operation accessories, land acquisition and compensation, earthworks, bridges, culverts and stations.
Besides, he said that due diligence was followed in the award of the contract as the project was approved by Federal Executive Council (FEC) after a certificate of no objection by the Bureau of Public Procurement was issued.
The first segment of the project was approved in 2012 while the current administration approved the second segment to link Ebute Metta (Lagos) to Apapa Port complex to ease the perennial traffic gridlock that has defied solutions.