By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
As Nigerians look forward to the commissioning of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project, the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi has urged the Contractor—China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC)to increase the pace of work on the stations.
Speaking to Journalists in Ibadan after a routine inspection of the Lagos-Ibadan railway, Amaechi expressed dissatisfaction with the contractor, noting that they are not going by the work plan.
In his words, “When it comes to speed, CCECC is delaying the work. I have told them to see us, we should have a meeting to tell them that I am sick and tired. Although they said they’ve finished and it’s just minor things remaining, those minor things can actually delay the movement of goods.
“They are minor. They said at the end of the month they will finish, okay, I believe them but I want them to reiterate that and as TEAM has always said, they don’t go by their work plan.
“Ibadan to Kano, everybody must go according to the work plan. Both in terms of payment, construction, inspection and everything. We will keep to the time and we will keep to the work plan” he said.
The Minister also noted that the Ministry is awaiting presidential approval in order to fix a formal date for the commissioning of the Lagos-Ibadan railway.
According to him, “We are talking with the office of the President, we are trying to get an appointment for the date of commissioning, once the office of the President gives us a date for commissioning, the country will be told. We are in a conversation with them.
“Once they give us a date…You know, I like to work under pressure. If you check here now, we can commission. Once we put them under pressure and say look, I’m commissioning on Monday, day and night these things will fall out. There are very minor things they can actually do and it’s taking them time to do those minor things”, he pointed out.
Addressing complaints raised by some of the community members due the railway construction, he stated that the problem that appears to be coming up is that of flooding, adding that the Ministry has asked the Engineer to address community by community, as any community raises any issues.
“Let’s observe this rainy season first then we will know the point at which the construction has led to flooding. When we observe those things, the Ministry of Transportation, Nigeria Railway Corporation and the contractors must ensure that the citizens that have given us their lands must enjoy the benefits of that sacrifice that they have made. So, we will correct those things when we see them” he said.
Furthermore, Amaechi disclosed that trailer drivers at Apapa have disrupted the movement of the train into the seaport, noting that the Ministry has to stop them now. “We either stop them or we stop the owner of that terminal, that will be the solution”, he noted.
Although some stations are ready, others are left with minor finishings for them to be ready for use.