The commissioning of the Lagos-Ibadan railway line for commercial operations which was held at Mobolaji Johnson Railway Complex, Ebute- Metta, Lagos gathered some prominent dignitaries like the President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, and Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka are some of the eminent Nigerians.
The Minister of transportation alongside his wife, dressed in a green Niger Delta outfit with a cap to match, arrived at the venue at exactly 9:00 AM.
The standard gauge of 156km is made up of ten stations complete with state-of-the-art conveniences, car parks, elevators, and ultra-modern terminals.
Other prominent figures to grace the occasion are Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, his Sports, and Youth Development counterpart, Sunday Dare, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, and Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
Others include Ekiti state governor, Kayode Fayemi, and Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde amongst others.
The minister of Transportation Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi began his speech by asking everyone to stand for a minute silence for those whose lives were lost in the course of making the railway a success, he said that they are, The former chairman of railway cooperation and the managing director of TEAM(who died as a result of COVID-19).
He went on to recognize the strength of his wife for allowing him constantly on these work expeditions, also he mentioned how much of a privilege it is that the president graced the occasion and said this is the third time the president is commissioning a standard railway project under his supervision even when the Kaduna- Abuja railway was started during the past President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan time, we finished it and commissioned it. And also pointed out that he wanted the president to commission this to show the naysayers the accomplishment of this administration. Not withholding his appreciation for some governors who showed their support during the entire project, he mentioned how selfless they were during the railway development and how some of the train stations were named after prominent men. Ameachi said that after the commissioning of the railway in Lagos the construction of the Kano-Kaduna site begins immediately since it has gotten approval from the President.
President Muhammadu Buhari started his speech by recognizing all the dignitaries that were present and thanked them for allowing him to preside over the flag-off ceremony, he mentioned it has been the driveway for his administration to revitalize the railway system and establish it as a choice load of transportation to transform industrial and economic activity in the country, he went to say how the train is a short corridor to transport goods directly to the seaport and also all over Nigeria safely. He said it will benefit the economy through employment and business/ wealth creation, urging the federal ministry of transportation and ministry of finance to collaborate on reaching a financial agreement with appropriate co-financiers to partner with the federal republic to establish more rail lines. He concluded by appreciating the Minister of Transportation for his drive and tenacity and commended all the team he worked with.