Lagos-Ibadan rail: Amaechi mounts pressure on contractors - PUNCH
BY Okechukwu Nnodim and Alexander Okeke
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Friday asked the contractor handling the $1.5bn Lagos-Ibadan railway project, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, to speed up the pace of work.
He spoke in Lagos on Friday after an inspection of the project along with top managers of the of the CCECC.
Amaechi stated that he had to invite the CCECC’s senior management officials to partake in an emergency inspection of ongoing work.
He said, “Today, we are inspecting the Lagos-Ibadan rail line again, with emphasis on the Apapa port axis. This time with the Chairman of CCECC Group, Zhao Dianlong, and the Managing Director, CCECC Nigeria, Jiang Yi Gao.
“I told them I am unhappy with the pace of work and it’s imperative they meet set targets.”
The minister added, “They’ve told us that the rail line up to Apapa would be completed by April; June for the minor stations and August for the major stations.
“We hope that they will speed up the work and finish earlier, so we can move on to Ibadan-Kano rail line.”
On the Ibadan-Kano line, Amaechi expressed optimism that the project would be completed in three years.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government is to install anti-theft devices on railway and its equipment across the country, the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria, has announced.
He said, “Anti-theft devices will be installed and it’s part of the additional work. When the work started, we had to talk to the contractors to realise that Nigeria is not China and our culture is not the same.”
He said the government had to look inward to limit the cases of vandalism.
“We jointly designed an idea to have anti-theft devices. Although they don’t have that in China, we had to localise it here,” he stated.
The NRC boss said the cases were reducing as those involved in such criminal activities were being arrested and promptly prosecuted by the police.