Nigeria’s Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi has said the government may be shutting down the Lagos-Ibadan train service following revelations that over 60 percent of the workforce on the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project are currently battling with COVID-19 infection.
The minister while speaking on a national television programme, NTA Good Morning Nigeria, had earlier hinted the government will shut down the Lagos-Ibadan and the Abuja-Kaduna train services if it detects any case of Covid-19 among passenger.
According to ekohotblog.com, he said that it is expected of all train users to comply with Covid-19 protocols all through their trips.
“If we see that we are conveying passengers who have Covid from Lagos to Ibadan and Ibadan to Lagos, we will stop it just like we are threatened to stop the one from Kaduna to Abuja if people don’t comply with the Covid protocols.
“Don’t forget that on Kaduna-Abuja, we convey 4,000 passengers in a day. Imagine that about 20 per cent have Covid, they can transmit Covid to the entire passengers. The rate of transmission will be high. The same is applicable to Lagos.
Everybody must comply with the Covid protocols, wear your masks till the end of the journey,” the Minister said. The minister also added that the $1.6bn Lagos-Ibadan railway project which commenced December 2020, would be completed this month would be inaugurated virtually by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Meanwhile, it has been discovered that over 60 percent of the workforce on the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project are currently battling with COVID-19 infection.
According to newsexpressngr.com, Amaechi said that the commissioning of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line would be put on hold due to the upsurge of COVID-19 in the country.
“First let us admit that over 60 of our staff, not ministry of transport staff, but the staff working on the rail project have been infected by COVID-19, luckily nobody has died and I pray nobody will die, but you see the kind of sacrifice everybody is making to get the rail to function.
“We need to learn how to live with COVID-19, I really want to congratulate those that achieve that feat, we were to inaugurate first week in January. We had to stop those doing minor completion because of the rise in the COVID-19 transmission.
“The timeline for the inauguration will depend on the pandemic, if COVID-19 stops today or reduces we will commission the project.”
Amaechi, further stated that the train services on all route might stop if passengers do not adhere to COVID-19 protocol.
“We will allow the train to run but if we see that we are conveying passengers who have the virus from Lagos to Ibadan, we will stop it, just like we are threatening to stop Kaduna-Abuja if people don’t comply with the protocol,” he stated