Nigeria’s minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has urged the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) contractors handling the $1.5 billion Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project to provide the program of work, action plan, equipment schedule and chart for installation which are necessary documents that would enable Nigerians run the station effectively without the help of the Chinese contractors.
In the submission of the minister, “It is compolsry you provide the program of work, action plan, equipment schedule and chart for installation. We don’t want a situation where everything about the rail is tied to you even after the contract. You are to provide the necessary documents that would enable any other contractor understand your in case there is a need for repair”.
At the recent inspection visit by the transportation minister, he also reminded the Chinese contractor that, the federal government is concerned on the need to utilize the country’s local content in the construction of the standard gauge rail lines on the ground that it meets the standard quality including the major and minor stations that are 10 in total which are under various stages of completion.
Responding to complaint made by the Chinese contractor, on the poor quality of some local content, Amaechi placed emphasis on safety, speed and quality as the guide for the project, urging the contractors to ensure completion of the stations before the set date.
According to the minister, “We want you to patronize our local products but that doesn’t mean you should give us something below standard and quality. Do whatever it would take you to deliver the best. Our major aim is to deliver a quality product that would withstand the test of time. We don’t want the job to be found wanting even after 10 years.”
During the project inspection, Amaechi expressed concern over the protracted delays on some of the stations urging the contractor to do everything possible to meet the December delivery deadline. On the security of the Lagos Ibadan rail line, the minister said, it is very expensive to fence, but attention would be focused on critical areas along the corridor that would require fencing where necessary.
On project performance evaluation, Rotimi Amaechi stated that CCECC have done well but he reminded the contractors that, the contract agreement was that delivery of the minor stations should be by end of October and November, for Ibadan Abeokuta while Ebutte-Metta junction linking the Apapa seaport is slated for completion by December this year.
For Kajola station, the minister has asked the architect to ensure the construction of an easy route to enable easy access to the rail station. He was reacting to the complexities associated with accessibility into the station
On local content, Fidet Okhiria, managing director of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) said the construction of all rail slippers would be with with concrete slippers that are locally sourced, while other equipment, concrete mixer, the technology, and some of the things used for the slippers can be imported.
Responding to the challenges of community dwellers on the likelihood of erosion caused by the rail line and the difficulty in crossing the rail line, Ibrahim Alhassan Musa, chairman of the board of NRC said the corporation would work in collaboration with the state government to provide optimal location where people can cross. “We would ensure the construction of over passes and under passes where necessary”, he noted.
By Mike Tochukwu
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