The Federal Government on Wednesday said the Lagos-Ibadan rail project cost less than $2 billion, contrary to other claims.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation Sabiu Zakari said the total contract sum of the project is $1, 581,847,371.00 as against the $2billion alleged.

He added that the cost index/km is $4.09 million as against the $13.6million also alleged.

The ministry, in a statement by the Assistant Director of Press, Anastasia Ogbonna, said the project is being executed in the spirit of transparency and accountability.

Zakari explained that the clarification became imperative, following insinuations that the project was inflated over and above the one in Ghana.

The permanent secretary also added that the Ghanaian project is at the conceptual stage, insisting that there are neither construction designs nor cost estimates.

He explained that the Lagos-Ibadan railway is actually 386 kilometres since it is a double track rail line as against the 156 kilometres alleged, which is just the distance from Ebute Meta (Lagos) and Ibadan terminal stations only.

According to him: “Railway project does not depend solely on the distance between terminal points but rely on various factors which include but not limited to terrain, core operation accessories, land acquisition and compensation, earthworks, bridges, culverts and stations.”

The permanent secretary stated that due diligence was followed in the award of the contract as the project was approved by Federal Executive Council after a Certificate of No Objection by the Bureau of Public Procurement was issued.