(Xinhua) -- Nigeria’s Acting President Yemi Osinbajo
launched on Tuesday a new standard gauge railway project linking
Nigeria’s largest city Lagos with Ibadan, capital of the
southwestern Oyo State.
Speaking at the ground breaking
ceremony, Osinbajo said the project, expected to be completed by
2018, will help the country in its economic diversification
The Lagos-Ibadan Modernization rail
project, a standard gauge rail line, with extension to the Lagos
Port Complex in Apapa, was awarded by the Nigerian government to
China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.
“It was important to have a viable
self-sustaining and improving railway services,” Osinbajo
The acting president told his audience
that it was part of the promises made by the president during
the campaign period.
“Our appreciation goes to the Chinese
government, who have always proven to be reliable partners
with Nigeria. As some may be aware, we have the entire
Lagos-Kano standard gauge track, as well as the Lagos-Calabar
railway track in the 2017 budget,” he added.
Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor of
Lagos, on the occasion said the project will open up the economy
of the southwest region and facilitate regional integration and
Ambode said less resources would also
be expended on road repair and maintenance once the rail line
He lauded the government for
prioritizing the project, saying it greatly complements the
efforts to deliver a transport system that was befitting of a
“The agricultural sector will receive
a long awaited boost, as this rail line will be a fast and
convenient means of transporting farm produce from the
hinterlands to the city, thereby increasing the economy of
these places,” he said.