The federal government is mounting pressure on Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company; the contractors handling the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project to complete and hand over the segment by December 2018 as scheduled.
Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria’s minister of transportation made this known during his monthly inspection tour of the on-going rail project Thursday at Papalanto, Ogun State.
Amaechi disclosed that, what the federal government and the CCECC have agreed is that by the next inspection visit and stakeholders meeting next scheduled for June 28, it is expected that the construction of two bridges and putting of the beams and completion of 11 kilometers distance of track laying would have been completed. He however expressed delight of the progress of work done so far by the contractors.
Responding on the impact of the rainy season, Amaechi noted that though the CCECC is not quite comfortable with the fact that it is delaying work, but they are doing everything technically possible.
‘’When they are battling to talk to us about the December 2018 completion date, their worry is not the speed, rather their worry is the natural element that will slow them down’’. The minister stated.
On the lingering delay of progress of work due to the challenges coming from the Lagos axis, he declared that he is impressed with the cooperation from the Lagos State government.
According to him, the issues and all the grey areas like the water and gas pipeline are being resolved. He disclosed that, the Lagos State government will come back to the federal ministry of transport, the CCECC and other critical stakeholders in two weeks’ time to present a permanent solution.
In his submission, ‘’We have our solution and think that our own solution can be expanded further to find a permanent solution. We believe that next month, we shall start working from the Lagos axis’’.
Amaechi said the engineers assured him that they have found solutions to some of the challenges to smooth flow of the rail project along the corridor.
MIKE OCHONMA AND STELLA ENENCHE, Abuja