Bauchi and Lagos — The Federal Government has said that the December 2018 deadline for the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan railway gauge is not negotiable.
Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who stated this yesterday after inspection and meeting with the contractors involved in the project in Papalanto area of Ogun State, said the idea of the visit was to showcase to Nigerians the level of work the government had done in the last three years.
He said: "We are starting with railway and tomorrow would be works and power. We will be inspecting the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. The idea is to let Nigerians know that this administration has done a lot in the area of infrastructure development.
"One thing we achieved in today's meeting is that the December date for the Lagos-Ibadan modern rail gauge is not negotiable. I am happy to say that the consultants, contractors and everybody involved have seen why it is important to make the deadline.
In his remarks, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said: "We have reviewed the entire project from Lagos Apapa seaport to the last station at Ibadan. We are satisfied with the progress. There are hitches here and there, which we have found solutions to them.
"What GE is coming to do between May and end of June is partial rehabilitation of the rail lines."
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has charged contractors handling key road projects in the country to use locally-sourced materials and local engineers in carrying out their work.
The Minister of State for Works, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, who gave the charge yesterday in Bauchi during the tour of ongoing road projects in the country, said government's insistence on the use of local content was deliberate.
He said the Federal Government was committed to reducing the level of foreign labour, stating that the emphasis on use of local materials and engineers was a measure aimed at boosting the level of unemployment in the country and as well encouraging local manufacturers.