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The rising anger over possible official bleeding of the ailing economy in the way and manner former Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, had handled all contractual pricing rounds and agreements on railway reconstructions may spark off erosion of public confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari’s claims on fight against corruption.
This is coming on the heels of recent revelation that Ghana signed a Memorandum of Understating with China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) to build a 560km railway line for a contract price of $2bn, while Nigeria is spending the same $2bn on 156km Lagos-Ibadan rail project, which is being constructed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.
Otherwise, the anger is on why it will take $3.6m to deliver a kilometre standard gauge railway line in even a tougher coastal area of Ghana and take $12.8m to deliver another kilometre standard gauge railway line in a dry hinterland area of Nigeria
Recall that the Ghanaian Trans-ECOWAS line, runs along the coast between Aflao, on the border with Togo, and Elubo, on the border with Cote d’Ivoire (a naturally difficult terrain just like the Lagos-Calabar coastal rail scheme), while the 156kms Lagos-Ibadan rail construction seats on clearly dry land that is not difficult.
While CRCC, a Chinese firm is involved in Ghana, China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) is handling rail contracts in Nigeria
However, even as many groups including the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and other civil society bodies have expressed strong reservations on the leaked contract details, the presidency and Nigerian Ministry of Transportation or the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) are yet to react to the unfolding contract sum differentials.
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