By Ignatius Ushie
Despite the slow pace of work on the Lagos -Ibadan Railway project, the Hon. Minister of Transportation Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has assured that the project will be completed in due time.
Amaechi said, although the contractors blamed the slow pace of work on funding, he would mount pressure on them (contractors) to deliver timely.
The Transportation Minister spoke with news men after inspecting the project site in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Monday.
While also expressing dissatisfaction about the delay, Amaechi said, “CCECC has not done too well. They claimed that at the end of the last government in May 29, 2019, we owed them some money, and that we had not given approval for additional works. For me, that’s not enough excuse. They have slowed down so badly”.
“We need to get them to go back to that same speed that they were before the last government was dissolved. We have just paid them the money we owed last Friday”.
“The cabinet has also approved the additional works. So, they have no excuse to delay because if we do get the loan for Ibadan-Kano project, they will start quickly from Kano to Kaduna, and at the same time commence from Ibadan to Ilorin”.
Amaechi also explained that the delay on Iju to Apapa parts of the Lagos-Ibadan project was also due to ” Urbanization “.
According to him, “We have problems of urbanization. So you have to deal with the issues of water pipes, gas, etc. In fact, there is one pipe that is very dangerous. That pipe comes from Excravos, and the moment you shut down that pipe there will be fuel scarcity “, he said.
Speaking briefly on the Coastal Rail project, Amaechi declared, “It is important that we construct the Coastal Rail. We have already applied for the loan and if we get the loan, we’ll start from Port Harcourt to Warri, and from Benin to Onitsha”.
Amaechi was accompanied by the Minister of State, Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, MD, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, Chairman NRC, Engr. Ibrahim Alhasan Musa among others.
By Ignatius Ushie