The Nigerian Government has given the contractor handling the Lagos-Ibadan rail project China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation, CCECC a new deadline of February 2019 to complete the rail project.
December 2018 was initially set for the completion of the standard gauge rail project.
Addressing Journalists in Papalanto area of Ogun State during monthly inspection of the project, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said that insecurity issues like host community hostilities and hoodlums harassment was slowing down the pace of work at the Lagos axis of the project
According to him, Yes there is improvement on the project but I am not too satisfied. I have told the contractor that by February next year, there must be a train on the track that makes transport sense.
I have also told them that there must be a train on the tracks that must be able to convey people from Lagos to Abeokuta, if not to Ibadan. We have agreed that everybody must work towards the new deadline. The next inspection is on the 18th of December, 2018. That is to show you how serious we are.
The inspection was once monthly before but henceforth, it will be twice a month.''
Mr Amaechi said; they are progressing rapidly. The weather is no longer an issue. Almost all the bridges have been completed. By our next meeting, it might remain just one bridge to be completed. The problem is now to ensure tracks are laid up to the point where we have all the bridges. For now, they will focus on the tracks first and build the stations later.
On inactivity at the Lagos end of the project, the Minister of Transportation listed insecurity as one of the reasons for the slow pace of work.
In his words, In Lagos, the contractor complained about being attacked by communities and hoodlums. They also complained that armed robbers are stealing their equipment. We didn't experience all these between Abeokuta to Ibadan. I have asked them to get the security agencies involved so that they can be protected.
On the forthcoming election affecting the project, Mr Amaechi stated that, If as Director General of the President Buhari campaign team, I am telling you that I will be here on the 18th of December that should tell you that elections won't disturb the project.''
He noted that Mr President has given them order to build infrastructure, and that must be done no matter what.
Source: Voice of Nigeria