MINISTER of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has instructed China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), the contractor handling the Lagos -Ibadan rail project, to complete the Iju-Agbado section in two weeks.
The Minister gave the charge last Thursday in Lagos while inspecting the ongoing Lagos -Ibadan rail project from Lagos -Abeokuka and Ibadan sections.
Amaechi said though the construction was well ahead of schedule and could be flagged off in its current state because passengers are more from Iju than Agbado, it is logical to complete Iju-Agbado before flag off.
“I may be pushing them a bit hard, but I want the project delivered. Though, we cannot say that the contractor, the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) is not trying, however, for commercial purposes, they have to complete the section so that passengers can board train to Abeokuta.
“Getting to Abeokuta you will see that there is an improvement but the problem they have now is the civil work between Agbado and Iju which is critical to me because I don’t think passengers will go to Agbado to join the train,” the Minister said.
Amaechi further said: “I believe that the closer we are to Lagos the better for the rail and that is why I had to demand from what they will do about this before the next two weeks. Although there is a huge improvement up to this point, I want them to speed up the construction from Iju to Agbado.
According to the Minister, the slow pace of work witnessed on the project was due to inadequate equipment and manpower.
“They argued that lack of equipment was responsible for the pace of work because the equipment were not on-the-shelf equipment that can just be picked and paid for. What is causing the delay on the Agbado to Iju axis is equipment related, ” Amaechi said.
He added: “The equipment have to be applied from overseas, we will have to wait for the processing and then ship them down and if we wait for those equipment, we might be finishing the job when the equipment will arrive.
“We are expecting 30 passenger coaches mixed with locomotive wagons, 300 wagons and two sets of Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) made up of ten coaches each and two motorcars will arrive Lagos before the construction work is completed.”