- Level of Work on Lagos-Ibadan Railway Unsatisfactory – Amaechi
The current level of work on the Lagos-Ibadan rail project is unsatisfactory, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has declared.
He, however, explained that the slow pace of work was due to the rains, adding that the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, the contractor handling the project, had assured him that work would speed up once the rains abated.
Amaechi disclosed this on Monday after the monthly inspection of the project by his team, adding that the rains had continually obstructed the pace of the work on the new rail line.
When asked if he was satisfied with the pace of work on the project, the minister replied, “No, I am not satisfied. But they have a reason. The problem is the rain. The work is progressing. You will agree with us that we are progressing. The problem is the rain. There is no way they would have gone extra with the rains.
“At the meeting, they agreed that now that the rains are stopping, there will be improvement. Their fear, however, is that in the next one or two weeks, the rains may come but immediately after that, the work will pick up faster. One and a half years is the original time for the construction of the stations but we have insisted that they will finish it before December.”
The minister said rail tracks had been laid through a distance of about 12km, but stressed that he was not impressed with this development.
Amaechi said, “They (CCECC) have been able to lay 12km, as against the 1.3km that was laid the last time we visited. We are still not impressed with the level of work. Their argument is that the track laying is not the problem as they can lay as many tracks as possible any day. They said the problem is earthwork. They said if the rains stopped, they could conclude the earthwork which is at 90 per cent.
“The remaining 10 per cent is between Iju to Ajaokuta. They said if the rains stopped, they would finish the remaining 10 per cent faster. They also said by the end of September, they would have finished all the bridges between Iju and Ajeokuta but we are pushing that the contract is between Ebute Meta and Ibadan and should be finished by December.”