12 July 2018

Nigeria: Lagos-Ibadan Rail - Disquiet As Govt Demands List of Local Engineers

Lagos — There is disquiet over the alleged flouting of the Nigerian content law in the on-going $1.5bn Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge project being constructed by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), Daily Trust can report.

It was gathered that the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi has demanded from the contractors list of local engineers involved in the project.

During the last inspection of the project in Ibadan, the minister was shocked to find out that some workers on site introduced as engineers were mere foremen.

"The Minister has asked the contractors to give him a list of Nigerian engineers employed in this project to know whether it is comparable otherwise, they will be asked to add more and know which areas are they engaged in," a source disclosed yesterday.

Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria confirmed the development exclusively, saying the Minister is committed to the implementation of local content in the implementation of the project.

Chairmen of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) in Lagos, Abeokuta and Ibadan in separate interviews with Daily Trust said none of their members was engaged in the project.

President Muhammadu Buhari in February 2018 issued Executive Order Five to promote local content in public procurement of projects but the local engineers say the order has been violated for this specific project.

Engr. Akintayo Akintola, the Ikeja branch chairman of NSE, said, "None of our members is part of the project."

Engr. Abbas Muhammed, NSE Chairman in Abeokuta, said, "I have not seen any of our members being part of that project. And don't forget there was the executive order on local content which I think should be enforced."

Chairman of NSE in Ibadan, Engr. Falade Fatila hinted that some engineers that have not been fully registered were hired but they have been fired.

"Ibadan engineers as far as I know are not carried along in that project at all. I have gotten quite a few complaints from people, they are engineers but they are not yet registered, who even had the opportunity to work on that project and they are now laid off," he said.

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