The Lagos-Ibadan railway project scheduled to b be inaugurated this January 2021, would be put on hold due to the current upsurge of the covid-19 pandemic in the country. Disclosing this in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi said that the railway project would have been inaugurated in the first week of this month if not for the upsurge in the second COVID-19 wave. Over 60 workers on the railway project site have been infected with COVID-19 while trying to complete it as scheduled .According to him it was important to reschedule the proposed January 2021 inauguration date for the facility.
“First let us admit that over 60 of our staff, not Ministry of Transportation staff, but the staff working on the rail project, have been infected by COVID-19. Luckily nobody has died and I pray nobody will die, but you see the kind of sacrifice everybody is making to get the rail to function,” Ameachi said.
“There are people sacrificing their lives to get to that point. We are of the view when we made that decision that Nigerians will not say 2020 was a bad year. As far as we are concerned, we need to learn how to live with COVID-19 and I really want to congratulate those who achieved that feat.”
The Minister noted that the inauguration of the project would be dependent on how the pandemic was controlled in Nigeria, adding that government would not give room for further spread of the virus. “We were to inaugurate the project in the first week of January. We had to stop those doing minor completion work because of the rise in COVID-19 transmission.
“The timeline for inauguration will depend on COVID. If COVID stops today or reduces we will inaugurate the project,” he disclosed.