Nigeria: Govt Summons CCECC Over Delay On Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project

12 April 2021

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has summoned the management of China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC), the contractor handling the $1.6 billion Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project, over delay in completing it ahead of its commissioning.

Daily Trust learnt that the CCECC management would meet with the minister on Wednesday in Abuja to give a specific timeline on when the stations would be completed.

However, Amaechi, who spoke during the inspection of the project from Lagos to Ibadan on Saturday alongside the ministry's officials and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), said the 157 kilometre long track was ready for commissioning.

He said the ministry was only awaiting the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to give a specific date he would be available for the commissioning.

Daily Trust reports that several timelines given for the commissioning of the project have elapsed owing largely to disruption precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, CCECC had to reduce the workers on site when some of the staff contracted the deadly COVID-19.

During the inspection, it was observed that the firm was completing works on the stations in Apapa, Ebute-Metta, Agege, Agbado, Kajola, Abeokuta and up to the last station.

At the Mobolaji Johnson Station, which is the biggest in Lagos, iron seats have been fixed at the waiting area but at some stations, only few workers were on ground.

According to the minister, while there has been some improvement in the train stations, the contractor appeared to have slowed down.

"We are having a conversation with the Presidency. Once the Office of the President gives us the date for commissioning, we are going to communicate the date.

"So once they give us a date, I like to work under pressure, we are commissioning. If they say we are commissioning on Monday, what's remaining here? What we have left are just minor things which can be done in one to two days," he said.

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