FG considers alternative to mass houses demolition for $1.5bn rail project in Abeokuta

1,400 houses to give way in Abeokuta for the Lagos-Ibadan rail project

The Federal Government is considering shifting the path of its right of way of its $1.5 billion Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project across Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Under the ongoing consideration, the 1,400 buildings at the Harmony Estate, near Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, which are on the project’s right of way, marked for demolition, may be spared.

Transportation minister, Rotimi Amaechi, made this known to newsmen in Ibadan, after a meeting with the contractor handling the project, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

The minister said they are rethinking the right is way of the project across Abeokuta, due to the high cost of compensation, put at N2.7 billion, that will be payable to the owners of 1,400 building marked for demolition at the Harmony Estate.

Amaechi said the contractor is considering redirecting the right of way to the left of the Harmony Estate, where there is a huge expanse of land with few structures, that will require the payment of low compensation.

He said, “At our last meeting in January, the contractor told us some part of M.K.O. Abiola Trade Fair Complex in Abeokuta and a housing estate comprising of 1,004 buildings, would gage to be demolished for the project. But after we reviewed the submission, we recommended that the contractor could shift to the right of the right of way where there are fewer encumbrances. If this advice is taken, we will be saving N2.8 billion in compensation. This is undoubtedly a huge sum that could have increased the cost of the project.”

The laying of the track of the standard gauge rail system is scheduled to begin from Papalanto, near Abeokuta in April.



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