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Minister laments slow progress on Lagos-Ibadan rail project

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[FILES] Rotimi Amaechi. Photo; TWITTER/CHIBUIKEAMECHI


Again, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has lamented slow pace of work by the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) on the Lagos-Ibadan standard guage railway project, saying he was sick and tired of the contractor.

Amaechi, who said that the Federal Government’s consultant on the railway project, TEAM, had alleged that CCECC was not following the work plan, recalled that the contractor initially promised to complete construction by end of April but reneged on their pledge.

During his monthly inspection of the rail project, at the weekend, the minister said: “For CCECC, I am sick and tired of them. That is why I asked them to see us on Wednesday, although most of the things remaining are minor and cannot delay movement of goods. They have promised to finish by the end of the month, I believe them, but I want them to reiterate that.

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“TEAM has also always complained that they don’t go by their work plan. I told them, when we started Ibadan to Kano, that everybody must go according to work plan and also in terms of payment, construction and inspection, everything.

“At this point, we can say to ourselves that we have tried, by converting a bush into a usage that will grow the Nigerian economy. There are some minor things they still need to put in place but it is taking them time to do that. Some of those things should not take more than a day or two to put in place,” the minister said.

A mild drama played out during the inspection as some tanker drivers allegedly poured a heap of sand on the railway track to prevent the minister from entering the port. Amaechi said he had directed the permanent secretary to meet with the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) to address the issue.

On the issue of flooding, the minister said he had directed the technical committee on the issue to resolve the problem of flooding caused by the project during the rainy season, promising that those who gave land must enjoy the sacrifice they made.

On the Ibadan-Kano project, he said: “We are waiting for China Exim Bank to disburse the loan. We, on our side, have disbursed the counterpart funding, until the China Exim bank gives approval, we will not start construction.”

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