The Federal Government has insisted that the contractors handling the construction of new Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line, China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation, must employ more professionals, especially Nigerian engineers, and other workers.
This will not only ensure the timely delivery of the project in December this year as promised but facilitate smooth transition and operation of the rail line by Nigerians.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, stated these on Thursday during the inspection of the construction work, adding that more workers should immediately be engaged on the site to enable the contractors to meet the December completion target.
Amaechi was angry that no competent Nigerian engineer was working on site and directed the project consultant to ensure that indigenous engineers were involved in the project.
He said the ongoing construction of beams was a strategic part of the project, which should be understudied by Nigerian engineers for a smooth transition from the Chinese workers to the locals.
Amaechi, however, stated that there was a huge improvement in the level of work on the Abeokuta axis, where some bridges had been constructed, including the one on Ogun River.
The minister said he would meet with the managing director of the CCECC on the work plan for the launch of beams for the many bridges already constructed.
He expressed optimism that the December deadline for the completion of the railway project was feasible, adding, “Now, we have given them two weeks to turn in all the designs of all the stations. Some of the stations won’t take more than one month to complete, especially now that the rain is over. So, we are still on target.”
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (then as acting President) had on March 7, 2017, inaugurated the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project at the Nigerian Railway Corporation compound in Lagos in line with the Federal Government’s plan to connect all state capitals and major cities by rail. The project was awarded to the CCECC at the cost of N458bn