In a bid to ensure the completion of 156.65 kilometres Lagos-Ibadan rail line by the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) before the end of 2018, the federal government has intensified its supervision of the project in order to necessitate timely completion.
Speaking while inspecting the rail project in Ibadan at midweek, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, noted that the laying of rail tracks has commenced while other environmental challenges confronting the project are being resolved.
Amaechi also warned the company that its agreement with Nigeria is not to build the railway and monopolise labour but build and handover to Nigerians who will then maintain it.
The minister, who was not happy about the slow pace of the construction work, frowned at the small number of labourers on site, and ordered for more hands to ensure speedy completion.
According to him, “Go and employ more hands, and I want to see more of qualified Nigerian civil engineers by the time I come back on July 23. You are not to construct and stay, you are to construct and hand over and leave the country because you are stealing our jobs.”
Before embarking on the inspection tour of the 156.65 km railway line and rising from three-hour technical meeting with the company and the management of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Amaechi reiterated the federal government’s commitment to complete the project in December 2018.
He, however, having expressed disappointment over the delay being caused by the rainy season, noted: “I am not impressed about the delay on laying of the tracks, this is because we agreed for 11 kilometres during our last month meeting and they have done only three.
“They have apologised and said by the next meeting which will take place by July 23, they would have done 10 kilometers plus the already three which will bring it to 13 km.”