By Albert Akota & Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has ordered China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), the contractors handling the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail to complete the project within five months.
He argued that COVID-19 has come to stay thus, Messrs CCECC are to devise measures of completing the project.
He urged them to procure Personal Protective Equipment for their workers as no excuse for failure would be accepted.
The Minister who disclosed this at the weekend during Lagos-Ibadan rail project in the company of the Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, noted that funds are not the challenge being faced on the $1.6 billion project but lack of workers.
He, therefore, advised the company to adhere to safety measures such as compulsory use of masks and safety shields by all workers in order to get the required number needed to work in all stations.
On the Ibadan-Kano $5.6 billion rail which is yet to commence, Amaechi stated that the government is yet to secure the loan facility from China Export-Import Bank, assuring that it remains a priority project of the present administration.
Speaking on his impression about the project, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was visibly very impressed said,
“I am very impressed. The reason we brought you here is to see that it is not a concocted story. This is the reason why we are borrowing the money so that Nigerians can travel in dignity and comfort”.
He further explained that, “Monies borrowed are not for grandiose display nor for overhead or running costs for the nation, but for capital projects which on completion would create jobs and provide needed infrastructure for Nigerians”, adding that there is nothing bad in borrowing so long as it is used to provide improved service delivery for the people.
Also, Lai Mohammed applauded Amaechi for the passion exhibited in driving the project and urged CCECC not to disappoint.