Honourable Minister of Transport, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has disclosed that it took a spirited effort for him to convince the immediate past Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosu to give right of way for the Standard Gauge rail track from Lagos to Ibadan.
Rotimi Amaechi said that he had insisted that Buhari commission this project himself because the President had a keen interest in the Lagos-Ogun-Oyo Railway.
He commended the three Governors, whose territories the rail line traversed, for cooperation.
Speaking during the commissioning of the railway project that traversed about 20% of Lagos, 70% of Egbaland in Ogun and 10% of Ibadan in Oyo States, Amaechi
appreciated Ibikunle Amosun, who he said he arm-twisted to demolish 1,000 houses to make way for the Rail Project.
He said Senator Amosu was at pains to further demolish houses after he had pulled down many for rapid development, especially the urban renewal of the Ogun State.
Amaechi thanked Amosun for taking painful but wise and economically sound decisions for the long term benefits of his people.
He revealed that Railway Stations between Mobolaji Johnson Railway Station and Obafemi-Awolowo Station in Ibadan had been named after some iconic Nigerians.
These are, Apapa- Bola Tinubu Station, Agege- Lateef Jakande; Iju-Babatunde Raji; Agbado- Kajola- Yemi Osinbajo; PapaalantoStation-Funmilayo Ransome Kuti;
Abeokuta -Wole Soyinka; Olodo-Olusegun Osoba; Omi Adio-Ladoke Akintola Ibadan-Awolowo. Operations Control Centre-Alex Ekweme.
The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, described the rejuvenated rail system as a testimony of good relationships between Nigeria and China.
Governor Babajide Sanwolu, who also spoke at the ceremony, said that the rail system would improve the living standard, adding that Lagos had been working closely with the Minister to solve mutual problems.
He added that it was now possible to work in Lagos and live in Ogun or Oyo State.
Sanwolu said the system was a transformation of transport adding that Lagos was building 4 stations and two flyovers to complement the Federal Rail Line.
He commended the Minister of Transport who was coming to Lagos twice a month to supervise the project being commissioned.
The Lagos helmsman said the standard gauge rail system would further boost the economic synergy recently signed between Lagos and Ogun States as there would be more economic activities and interactions between Lagos and Ogun on one hand and among Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States on the other.
Many Ogun State prominent leaders present at the occasion included, Governor Dapo Abiodun, former Governor Ibikunle Amosun and Professor Wole Soyinka, after who the Abeokuta Railway (Laderin) Station was named.
The Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, and his Lagos counterpart, the Olowo-Eko, Oba Rilwan Akinolu, led entourages of Egba and Lagos-White-cap Chiefs to the commissioning.