By Albert Akota
The Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi at the weekend invited the Chairman, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Group, Zhao Dianlong to emergency inspection of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan rail project following the unsatisfactory level of work done.
The Minister who was not happy during the previous inspection summoned the Chairman of the CCECC Group to attest on scheduled completion of the project.
“I think there is some remarkable progress from the day we came to today. If we saw the number of staff we saw on site today, we would t haven’t complained.
“Going from here to d sea port, we see remarkable improvement meaning that something was wrong before their Chairman came.
If they continue with this kind of speed, we expect that we should be able to commence activities on the track,” Said Amaechi.
Speaking on measures put in place to avert the Lagos-Ibadan experience in the process of Ibadan-Kano rail project, Amaechi explained that for Ibadan to kano rail project, manpower and equipment will deliver the job on time.
“What you see here is that that equipment you saw on site. So I will request from the Chairman that equipment must be commensurate to the volume of work that we have. Manpower too must also be commensurate to the volume of work that we have.
” If they do that, we expect that three years time, they should be able to deliver on the Ibadan to Kano on time,” Said the Minister.
The Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, said the delay experienced on the Lagos-Ibadan rail project was due to some additional work added to the contract given.
“This is not the type of Station that is in the initial contract but we encouraged them to continue that the additional work would be approved and they have been approved.
All the stations they are currently building, those were not the initial designs. They were small,”
He also said other challenges such as vandalism of rail equipment contributed to the delay.
On the plan for Ibadan-Kano to avert issues experienced in Lagos, the NRC boss said, ” The issue is that Lagos is too close to the Port and they find it difficult to move goods out by port because if they do, we will charge them and minimum of our charging rate is 200 kilometre.
If they are moving 100 kilometres, it is not our business. It is minimum of 200 kilometres but sometimes we look at it and arrive at a different rate but we must obey the law and tariff and by the time they look at it to, by the time they get to Ibadan, it will be quicker and cheaper.”