The December 2018 deadline set for completion of the $1.5b Lagos-Ibadan rail project, may not be feasible, it has been learnt. Investigations revealed that the project appears to have overshot the amount earlier budgeted for it, due to unforeseen developments at the Apapa end of the railway.

It was further learnt that the Federal Ministry of Transportation has already compiled all incidental items and additional costs to overshoot the $1.5 billion initially earmarked for it. The ministry is set to submit the situation report to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for consideration and necessary approval.

A document showed that the cost overrun was necessitated by the need to accommodate the relocation of oil and gas pipelines in the port axis. Although, sources said the consultant, Messrs. TEAM Nigeria Limited is currently considering a cost effective solution, by constructing protective structures over the oil and gas pipelines, instead of outright relocation of the pipes.

However, the detection of many underground oil and gas pipelines have remained a challenge for the project consultant, specially with the use of a Geo-Radar equipment to detect underground pipelines that are likely to be deployed.”This wasn’t part of the project budget. The project didn’t envisage the use of a Geo-Radar equipment at inception, and this also forms part of the project overrun that the minister has already directed,” a source added.

Source: The Guardian