Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria's Minister of Transportation, says the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), in charge of the construction of the train station in Iju-Abeokuta suspended the free ride during elections for security reasons.
Speaking at the inspection of the Lagos-Ibadan modernisation project in Ibadan, the minister apologised to Nigerians over the suspension of the Iju-Abeokuta free train ride.
He said: “It was suspended by the Chinese and the excuse they gave me was that they cannot allow it run because of safety, since they have not completed the second line, but they are almost through with it.
“It is almost completed from Iju to Abeokuta. I want to apologise to Nigerians that they suspended it when they left the country, which I didn’t envisage, they will go back soon."
Amaechi also said he has been tasked by President Muhammadu Buhari to create jobs through the project.
“I know you will say I’m stressed up but as a minister, I have a responsibility passed to me by Mr. President and I must deliver on it.
“Also, the economy of Nigeria can be driven most importantly, if we can link the seaport to the hinterland because when cargoes come, they must go.
“The more you are able to move goods and services to the hinterland, the more you will create jobs and the more you create jobs, the more growth that you will have and that is my drive."
Amaechi added that whoever would take over from him would have the passion to complete the projects.
He said: “You see, me and passion, if you watched me as the Governor of Rivers, that same passion was there. I was restless at delivering my responsibility.
“I pray that whoever will be the Minister of Transportation should have the same passion and focus on that responsibility. You can never tell; that passion is everywhere.”