Abuja-Kaduna Rail Line

The governor said that the development would be a milestone in his administration’s quest to modernise major cities in the state.

The Oyo State Government on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) for the construction of a 38-kilometre light rail system in Ibadan.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ceremony took place at the Executive Chamber of the governor’s office in Ibadan.

The governor said that the development would be a milestone in his administration’s quest to modernise major cities in the state.

According to the MoU, “the project would be executed on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement between the Oyo State Government and the construction company."

“While the company is expected to source for 85 per cent of the required sum, the state government will provide 15 per cent as its own counterpart funding of the project.’’

It would be recalled that the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, had on March 3 said the inter-city light rail project would be completed before the end of his administration in 2019.

Ajimobi said this while receiving a Chinese delegation led by Mr Ling Jing, the Deputy Ambassador of China to Nigeria in his office.

NAN  reports that the 38-kilometre rail would stretch from the Toll-Gate/Sanyo axis of the state to Queen Elizabeth Way (Dandaru, Mokola) before terminating at Ojoo axis of the state.

NAN also reports that the project has completion duration of 12 months. Construction will commence from the day the company secure the loan facility for the project.

The State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Mr Wasiu Dauda, told newsmen after the event that the company would  secure the needed loan for the project within the next five months.

Dauda said that a key requirement for the loan facility was the signing of the agreement between the parties involved.

“The project will greatly help ease the problem of traffic congestion. It is a PPP initiative and will cover about 38 kilometres.

“The project on completion will help reduce traffic congestion within the city and also boosts commercial and economic activities,’’ he said.

Mr Jack Lyao, the Executive Director, CCECC, who led top officials of the company to the signing said the company was very eager to hand over a very profitable project to the state.

He assured them that the company would do the needful to ensure that the project did not exceed the approved period from the day the loan facility was secured.

“You know CCEC is a very big company, especially in Nigeria. We major in constructing railways, roads, buildings and bridges and have constructed railways in Abuja and Lagos to mention a few.

“We are eager to hand over a very profitable project to Oyo State. Once we receive the payment, we will set the commencement date and deliver it in 12 months,’’ he said.