By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
Ibadan-The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, has charged the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), to employ qualified Nigerian engineers in the Lagos-Ibadan railway project as well as other projects.
The Minister who gave the charge in Ibadan on Thursday, while inspecting the level of work done so far, expressed displeasure that only three Nigerian engineers were working on the railway project being handled by the China Railway Construction Corporation(CRCC).
He however emphasized, that more Nigerian engineers with certifications should be employed as soon as possible, in order to help in the construction as well as to understudy the activities of the company.
He said, “With what you do here, you just want to build and go? Employ more Nigerian engineers before my next visit. I want to see the engineers they have hired, they must come with their certificates, I want to see it.
“You understudied GE, you don’t want us to understudy you? You told me there are several Nigeria engineers here and at the end of the day, they are only three; if at all they are engineers” the Minister queried.
On the level of work done so far, Amaechi disclosed that the pace of work is slow due to the rain and urged the construction company to do more to meet the deadline.
“Was I impressed with the laying of the tracks? No, the answer is no. We agreed for 11 kilometres and they have laid only three. They have apologized and said that the next meeting which will take place on the 23rd of July, 2018, they would have done more than 10 and add it to the three which will bring it to 13 kilometres” he noted.
While speaking on the December deadline for the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan railway, he pointed out that the rain is slowing down the civil works,restating that there is no going back on the deadline.
The Minister who also stopped over to inspect the level of work at the new place reassigned to the All Saints Primary School, Otere Ikereku, which is being relocated due to the construction works, urged the Chinese Company to change the doors and windows to better standard, so that the students can have better learning environment.
Responding to questions on the federal government’s commitment to the railway project, he stressed that President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to the railway project.
According to him, “The President believes that the cost of production and movement of goods, including the part of agriculture would be resolved to the benefit of the society if we are able to do the railway, and his focus is everywhere in Nigeria but the problem is that we don’t have enough fund” he remarked
Recall that the time frame of the contract is three years but the federal government insisted that it must be completed in the last quarter of 2018.