Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria’s minister of transportation has directed the Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) handling the Lagos-Ibadan rail project to work day and night to achieve meaningful progress.
The minister who made this known during a progress report while fielding questions from reporters Monday in Ogun State after the monthly inspection tour of the rail project along the corridor said he was impressed with the level of jobs so far done by the CCECC.
According to the minister, the speed has increased, the doubts I have before whether we will achieve before the end of the year appears to be clearing. The speed of work has increased and the doubts I have before whether we can achieve by end of the year appears to be clearing. I said appears to be clearing because you can never say what is happening the next moment’’.
The minister disclosed that the committee is having problems in the Lagos area because of the existence some impediment towards a hitch-free execution of the project along the corridor.
He stated that the inspection team spent enough time during their meeting to look at how to resolve the issues in the Lagos area. According to him, there are some utilities that will have to be removed.
Amaechi recalled that a committee was set up with a mandate to find solution to the problem with NRC board chairman as chairman of the committee and representatives of CCECC and NNPC, the army and the managing director of Nigeria Railways as members and their job is to find solution to the problems.
The minister revealed that the station in Abeokuta has been moved northwards to another location within the state to reduce the impact on citizens by not going ahead with the demolition of the over 1000 houses on the right of way which also saved the Federal Government about N2.8 billion as compensation to those who would have been affected.
He further hinted that because of the rainy season that is likely to set in by April, the committee has shifted the next inspection visit to the last day of the month instead of the beginning of the month during which time the inspection will come first before the meeting.
Responding on the likely impact of the rainy season as a setback, Amaechi noted that CCECC is company that is saddled with finding solution to the problem. He added that whether CCECC finds solution to the rainy season, the elements cannot be ignored.
He advised that CCECC should work day and night to achieve the sub-structure. On the relocation of the water pipeline belonging to the Lagos state government, hinted that adjustments will be made to the power line.
‘’We still have problems with water, that is why I said the committee chaired by the board chairman of railway should find solution to that. We are looking at the best engineering solution that will have minimal impact on the citizens’’.
He pointed out that the CCECC is also under pressure to deliver the job in one year’s time for a job that would have lasted for three years.
Amaechi remarked that it appropriate to complete the design before actual job to ensure and guarantee quality work, maintain that the most important thing is that government I achieving its objective and it is to be realised at the best possible engineering design.
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Author: MIKE OCHONMA