Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday said the May 29 deadline earlier given by government for the commissioning of the Abuja to Kaduna railway lines by President Muhammadu Buhari is no longer feasible as it has to be shifted by 30 days.
He said the contractors and consultants insisted that a major re-alignment at the Kubwa-Byazhin axis must be properly done before opening it for passenger traffic.
While assuring that the project will be delivered by June, he said: “I have pushed them enough to deliver by May, but discovered that the consultants and contractors’ professionalism must take precedence first because of the long run safety consequences.”
Amaechi, who acknowledged the arrival of modern coaches that will run the standard gauge, said: “I mounted pressure on them to keep to the initial deadline but Team, the project consultant, in their wisdom, said we may make mistake if we continue to push.
“It is therefore wise here to allow the contractors follow their time-table. They need at least one month to finish the alignment at Kubwa axis.”
The minister made the disclosure while taking a routine inspection at Idu terminus in Abuja, as part of preparation towards the May 29 earlier announced date for the commencement of the commercial operation of the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge railways route.
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