Why Lagos-Ibadan Standard Railway Gauge Project Delivery Got Delayed- Amaechi
Aminat Isah, Abuja
The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has explained the reasons behind the delay in the final delivery of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail line Project.
Highlighting the reasons for delay, the Minister during the November inspection of the project at Moniya axis of the project in Ibadan, Oyo State capital said the delay was due to some challenges encountered in the areas of urban renewal, and theft of equipments.
“we are dealing with urban renewal, we are building new flyover, overhead bridges, underpasses, pipes, sewage and we pray that we don’t meet it in Ibadan to Kano. If we will meet anything like that, it won’t be in the magnitude of Lagos because it was a total chaos and we didn’t get the kind of support we needed initially but now we have it.
“If we will meet anything like that, it won’t be in the magnitude of Lagos because it was a total chaos and we didn’t get the kind of support we needed initially but now we have it. The support could be the people and the fact is that some people are still in court over this because lands were taken from them.
“We are confronting the challenges of stealing. We are beginning to hear about stealing. It wasn’t there at all for those who live in Lagos and Ibadan but now we are hearing that people are still our equipment,” said Amaechi.
Speaking on prompt delivery of the project by the contractor, CCECC, Amaechi noted that the CCECC’s argument is that they are willing to complete the stations but the equipment have not arrived from China, while he (Amaechi) on the part of the government argued that they should get some things from Nigeria.
“Before they wanted to import glasses and doors as if we don’t have in Nigeria, the pressure we are putting is now making them buy the glasses and doors in Nigeria and they are installing and gathering which will quicken the process.
“They are still expecting pipes and other things and they requested that we give them one or two months to complete the stations.
“They said by the time we come for inspection on the 20th of December, the track will get to Ibadan and the issue will now be the completion of stations, communications and signaling so that we can commence test running on the 30th of November.
“We don’t have enough coaches and locomotives but we will start with as many as we can take pending when the 20 locomotives that we imported arrive. They will arrive end of December or latest second week in January. Once we get communication and signaling, we are out of Lagos-Ibadan”.
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