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Oyo, Chinese firm sign MoU for 38km light rail project

From: Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

The Oyo State Government and China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for construction  of a light rail system that will cover 38 kilometres in Ibadan.

Commissioner for Works and Transport in the state, Mr. Wasiu Dauda, who briefed journalists after the MoU was signed at the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Agodi, Ibadan, said the exercise was witnessed by members of the executive council of the state.

The light rail, which is expected to be completed within 12 months from the date the contractor secured loan facility for the project, will commence from  the Toll-Gate/Sanyo axis of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway through Dandaru in Mokola on Queen Elizabeth Way and will end at Ojoo.

The commissioner was optimistic that the contractor would secure the loan facility for the project within the next four to five months.

According to him, “The state government is embarking on the project because if you get to some areas, the traffic congestion is beyond imagination.  In this case, for instance, if someone is coming from Lagos and going to Ojoo, he would only alight at the Toll Gate. He needs not board another cab, but just enter into the lightrail to save time and resources.

“The company will source for 85 per cent of the fund and Oyo State will pay the balance of 15 per cent. The project will greatly help ease the problem of traffic congestion. It is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative. We are optimistic that in another four to five months, the company should be able to access the loan facility and part of the requirements to getting the loan is the signing of the agreement between the company and the state government.

“The light rail will begin from Toll Gate/Sanyo down to Dandaru and then to Ojoo. It will cover about 38 kilometres. The project will massively help reduce traffic congestion within the city and also boost commercial and economic activities. The duration of the project will be twelve months with effect from the day they are able to facilitate the loan to execute the project.”

The Executive Director of CCECC, Jack Lyao, who led top officials of the company to the singing ceremony, said “CCECC is a very big company, especially in Nigeria and we major in railways, roads, buildings and bridges. Even in railways, we have done so many of it in places like Abuja, Lagos and others.

“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 after then, 12 months to deliver the project.”

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