By Ignatius Ushie
China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) has said that it carry out all welfare accrued to communities living around Lagos Ibadan rail corridors before the completion and handing over of the project. These include primary and basic infrastructure, like bridges, link roads among others.
The company, which is handling the 156-kilometre standard gauge rail line, said it is presently in talks with relevant government officials to address community infrastructural needs.
These was contained in a statement by the company in Abuja, made available to Transport Day by its Media Adviser, Dr. Eshemokha Maho.
According to him, the clarification became necessary, following recent agitation by some communities on the rail corridor over an overhead bridge and a flooded link road.
Two of the affected communities in Ogun axis of the rail line – Laderin and Alagada – recently went on protests over the state of infrastructure in their areas.
Laderin residents, during the protest, demanded that CCECC should build an overhead bridge across the rail line to connect villages in their area to the main road. Alagada community urged the company to fix the link road in the community, which has been rendered unpassable as a result of flooding.
The Chinese firm noted that the construction of an overhead bridge in Laderin was not captured as part of the rail project, but he said CCECC as an ethical company was committed to the development of local communities in its areas of operations.
The company added that machinery have been put in place towards addressing the communities’ complaints.
“We are working based on designs given to us by the contracting authority, as you know we cannot go outside the design without appropriate approvals; it would be going outside the scope of the project and we could be sanctioned.
“However, we have long taken note of the concern of the communities and have taken it into consideration and are working with relevant government officials to ensure that the issues raised by the communities are appropriately channelled and addressed.”
On the issue of link road raised by Lasada community, Maho noted that CCECC is a company built on integrity, “So we will keep to our biddings and adhere to the rules of our contracts and also respect our host communities”.