Nigeria: Real Reasons Lagos-Abeokuta Free Train Was Suspended
The free train service from Iju in Lagos to Abeokuta which was
declared by the Federal Government on February 11 after the section
was test-run only operated for two weeks before it was suspended.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) suspended the service amidst
disappointment by passengers.
However it was learnt that the suspension was at the instance of the
China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), the
contractor handling the 156-kilometer Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge
A source told Daily Trust the CCECC team pushed for the suspension
for safety reasons as the project was still ongoing.
Beside the CCECC felt the service was stalling the progress of work at
a time the government was pressurizing it to deliver the project on
"Don't forget the CCECC people are still using the route to move their
equipment to site and this could be significantly stalled if we continue
to run the service on the lone line. We can do this by the time we finish
the second line", the source said.
Daily Trust reports that about 2,500 passengers were transported
within the period the service was run. The Iju-Abeokuta end of the
project covers about 62 kilometers from KM 21 to 82.
Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi who inspected the
project last week also confirmed that the free train service was
suspended by the CCECC while apologizing over the suspension.
He said, "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 nearly Iju
to Abeokuta. I want to apologise to Nigerians that they suspended it...
which I didn't envisage".