December 16, 2018.
Governorship candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP) in Lagos state, Babatunde Gbadamosi has exposed a
major financial irregularity in the on-going rail project in the state.
He was worried that the tax payers in Lagos were at the receiving end of continued delay regarding completion of the state’s rail project tagged ‘blue line’ since 2008.
Addressing the audience on the strategies to improve intermodal transport at the maritime journalists retreat at the weekend, he described the delay as deliberate rip-off on the tax payers.
The event was organised by Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) in Badagry at the weekend.
Worried by what he termed mess in the maritime sector ocassioned by traffic log jam in Apapa, Lagos , Gbadamosi that that since 2008, the Lagos 27 kilometers blue line project gulping $4.5 million per kilometer was yet to be completed whereas the Ethiopian government between 2011 to 2016 built 792 kilometers of rail at $1.5 million per kilometer using the same Chinese company handling both projects.
According to him, the major challenge confronting the maritime sector in Nigeria was lack of effective multiples transport model.
“The Lagos rail project is an open secret on the internet concerning the comparison I have drawn. People should go and search for information because what is happening is so said Ethiopia constructed 792 kilometers of rail for $4.5 per kilometer between 2011 and 2016.
“But here, since 2018 the 27 kilometer rail project put at $4.5 million is yet to be completed. Prudent management and accountability is the way to go, the Lagos ports built by the Western region government are now in total mess and absolute shambles.
“For the businesses in the maritime sector to grow we need to develop the rail, water, air and land transport system.
“Apapa is a disgrace. Within 18 months if I am voted into power, I will provide electrical train powered by its own terminal, stable electricity in eight local governments and build high sped power bus and rail services. All these I have practicaised as an estate developer.
“There is need to build the jetties and have huge canoes that can transport two thousand people from different locations in Lagos from Badagry, Ikorodu, Epe, Abule-Egba, Apapa and other areas.”
Gbadamosi argued that the maritime sector had been neglected by the federal government for so long and the effect was negative on several businesses in the state.
“The Apapa port was built by the government o the Western Region. Since 1966 when the Federal Government through the military fiat took over very thing has gone from bad to worse. The best approach is to handover the port back to Lagos for effective operation” the ADP candidate said.