Executive Governors here present

Honourable Ministers

Leaders of the National and State House of Assembly

Traditional and Community Leaders

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

I am pleased to address you again today and preside over the flag off ceremony for Commercial Operations of Lagos – Ibadan railway project at the Mobolaji Johnson Railway Station, Ebute Metta, Lagos.

This signals yet another milestone in the drive of this Administration to revitalize the railway system, establish it as a choice mode of transportation for both passengers and freight and position it as a transportation backbone that can transform industrial and economic activity in the country.

This vital line establishes an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport within its short corridor, Lagos – Ibadan, as goods to the hinterland would now be transported by rail directly from the Apapa port Quayside straight to the Inland Container Depot located in Ibadan from where it can be distributed to other parts of the country.

In clear recognition of the challenges posed to our economic growth by absence of strong and effective infrastructure, we have in the rail sector, further to other ongoing railway infrastructure projects, embarked on the completion of the outstanding segment of the Lagos – Kano railway, which is Ibadan – Kano

The Lagos – Kano railway project when completed will link the Kano – Maradi line at Kano and a rail link from the Nigeria southern ports of Lagos to Maradi in Niger Republic will be achieved.

The connection through rail would position Nigerian ports as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic.

This would be beneficial to the economy through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation.

The Federal Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Finance have been directed to vigorously act on engagement and reaching financial agreements with appropriate co-financiers to partner with the Federal Government for the development of the Ibadan – Kano railway and the connection to the Tin Can Island port as well as the West – East Coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar linking Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Aba and Uyo.

This is already yielding the desired result as construction activities on the railway segment, Kaduna – Kano has commenced with back-end engineering activities.

Distinguished guests, from the beginning of this administration, railway infrastructure development has been given the priority it deserves and various milestones have been reached, right from when the Abuja – Kaduna railway was flagged-off for commercial operation in 2016 to this Lagos – Ibadan railway project being commissioned today for full commercial operation.

I will at this juncture, commend the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, for his drive and tenacity to achieve the milestone recorded today.

He has a wonderful team in the Ministry that is helping in achieving this feat. Well done to you all.

I now have the honour to perform the flag off for the Lagos – Ibadan railway project on this day, June 10, 2021

Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.