The Federal Government has said it would be saving about N2.8bn required to compensate owners of the affected buildings on the right of way for the construction of the $1.5bn standard gauge Lagos-Ibadan rail line.
Besides, it said the 1,400 buildings marked for demolition in Abeokuta, Ogun State, to pave the way for the construction may no longer be pulled down.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this on Monday in Ibadan, Oyo State, after a meeting with officials of the contractor handling the project, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).
He stated that the contractor had been advised to see the possibility of avoiding the 1,400 structures marked for demolition among several buildings on the new line’s right of way.
Amaechi said: “What we have suggested is that they should review the location of the train station in Abeokuta to avoid an area where we have too many buildings. If you observe, when we visited the area where we have so many buildings on the proposed station site of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project in Abeokuta, towards the left of that area is a huge expanse of land that has fewer or no structures on it.
“We have told the contractor to look at the possible option of going towards the left, instead of going through the MKO Abiola Complex (in Abeokuta) and running through buildings behind it. It doesn’t involve any new engineering structure. All they need do is move towards the left of the MKO Abiola Complex so that the path of the standard gauge project will avoid an area where we have too many houses.
“If we agree to go towards the left of the MKO Abiola Complex, then we won’t be paying N2.8bn as compensation to property owners because we would have avoided where we have concentration of too many houses and that would have reduced the project cost eventually.