News hotlines: 08111813019, 08025868561
Amaechi not too sure of Lagos-Ibadan rail delivery by CCECC in December
Contrary to some media reports that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi is quite hopeful that contractors handling the Lagos -Ibadan Rail project will meet December deadline, he has expressed disappointment with the slow pace of work being done, saying there is a deliberate delay to frustrate the scheme.
Speaking at the end of a tour of the project on Monday, he said “CCECC has not done too well. I used the phrase too well because at a time, they did us proud by trying to push this job.”
The minister argued that the CCECC had no reason for its delay, noting that the contractors had no excuse to delay the project because they had all they needed for the project.
“They claim that at the end of the last government, we were owing them some money and we had not given approvals for the extra and additional jobs.
“But that’s not an excuse because we will still have given the approval. So they have slowed down so badly. We need to get them to that speed that they were before the last government was dissolved.
“We paid them on Friday. The cabinet and president have approved the additional and extra works so they have no excuse.
“So if we get the loan for Ibadan-Kano, we won’t have delays. We can then start quickly from Kano to Kaduna and Ibadan to Ilorin so we can quickly finish,” Amaechi said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiri corroborated the minister’s stand, insisting that the contractors must speed up work on the project.
According to him, “I think our major issue now is to see how we can get to Apapa port, because without the track getting to Apapa port the idea of making this rail has not been achieved.
“We hope that by December we should be heading there since there is no major obstacle as all the obstacles have been cleared.
“They have made progress and we hope by November when the coaches come, nothing will stop us from running train till we get to Apapa.
Recall that the federal government had awarded the 6.68 billion contract to the CCECC on May 18, 2018 to build a major segment of a railway from Lagos to Kano and work on the scheme can only start when Lagos-Ibadan had been delivered.
Towards the end of President Buhari’s first term, Amaechi, who was also the Minister assured that it would be delivered before the end of last year but it failed.