To allow the Lagos-Ibadan rail line to run at full speed without endangering human lives, the government would consider jail terms for intruders, Rotimi Aamechi, Minister of Transportation, has said.
Speaking on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Tonight’ on Wednesday evening, Amaechi said just as people complain that the Kaduna-Abuja train does not run at full speed because of cows who intrude into the rail line, humans prevent the Lagos to Ibadan train from reaching its destination within one hour and 30 minutes.
“Currently it is slow, about three hours 15 minutes. When it is supposed to be doing about 120 to 150 kilometers per hour… it should be in Ibadan in one hour 30minutes. But pending when they will review their speed, we will continue to do about two hours plus,” he said.
“It is not about the track; the tracks are okay. There are two things slowing the train from moving at the speed it’s supposed to. The human presence in Lagos makes us drive between 15 and 17 kilometres per hour. Between Ebutte Meta and Iju, you have to be very slow in order not to kill anybody.
“You see, people defecating on the track, people cooking on the track. They have restaurants on the track. They sell shoes, they have furniture shops. All sorts of things they have on the track. So, for that reason, they are slow.”
The Minister also said that the train would run at full speed in locations outside Lagos when the now-installed signalling equipment is tested and found to be working effectively.
“We are fencing from Ebutte Meta up to Iju and Agbado. I don’t know what happens after Agbado, but I know that Iju and Agbado, because of the influx of human beings from Lagos up to that part of Ogun State, we are going to fence it up. I hope they don’t destroy the fences,” he continued.
“If they do, I think we need to go to the President and then to the National Assembly to either pass a law or amend the railway law. If they are caught they will be taken to the court and if found guilty, they will be jailed.”
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