FG Laments Slow Pace of Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project
By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government has lamented the slow pace at which the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) is working on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project, urging for the firm to speed up the full completion of the project.
This was made known by the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, on Saturday while inspecting the project in Lagos. He added that the company had given a commitment towards finishing it by end of April.
He said: “Most of the things remaining are minor and it cannot delay the movement of goods. They have promised to finish by the end of the month. I believe them but I want them to reiterate that.”
He said that though the company had shown commitment to the project, much still needed to be done to achieve the target date of completion.
“When we start the Ibadan-Kano rail, it will be a different ball game and we will ensure they keep to plan.
“For Ibadan to Kano, everybody must go according to work plan both in terms of payment, construction, inspection and everything.”
The minister said the current pace of work may delay the inauguration of the project which was slated for April.
“If you look at the level of work, we cannot ask the president to commission this, but once we give CCECC definite time, I know they will speed up.
“There are some minor things they still need to put in place but it is taking them time to do that. Some of those things should not take more than a day or two to put in place; so am not so worried,” the former Governor of Rivers State said.
Speaking on another project under construction, the Ibadan – Kano project, the minister explained that it was dependent on the disbursement of loan by the Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank).
The Lagos-Ibadan project was funded primarily through a Naira 408 billion loan approved by the Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank) in January, alongside counterpart funding worth Naira 72 billion provided by the Nigerian government.
The line is part of a planned $11.1 billion, 2733 kilometres Lagos – Kano standard-gauge north-south railway.
The first 186.5 km section of the project, between Abuja and Kaduna, opened in July 2016. CCECC is constructing the line under an $8.3 billion contract awarded in 2006.