In what seemed like a farewell gathering, contractors handling the construction of various railway projects in the country have commended the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for his ‘outstanding performance’ in the rail subsector.
The commendation is coming few weeks to the end of the first tenure of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking at a steering committee meeting of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project in Papalanto, Ogun State, last Saturday, Project Manager of Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), Mr. Xia Lijan, said Amaechi has, without doubts, demonstrated leadership skills in championing the construction of the rail projects.
He said from the track laying works to the production of beams on the Lagos-Ibadan project, the minister conformed to the contract agreement and demonstrated honesty in its totality.
According to him, “We wish to recall March 7, 2017, when Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the 156 kilometre Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway project that marked the commencement of regular monitoring, supervision and coordination by the minister.
“Appreciating CCECC railway engineering excellence and technological know-how, the minister without doubts, demonstrated his wonderful leadership skills and workaholic dictates in championing the cause of these great feats we have achieved.
“From the track laying works, production of beams for rail bridges, earthwork solidification and other segments of the railway engineering, the minister excellently monitored them in conformity with the contract agreement which makes me believe that he may not be far from being a hidden railway technocrat. He has really showcased his visionary traits, as he fully demonstrated honesty and total commitment to the development aspirations of President Buhari.”
On his part, Public Relations (PR) consultant to CCECC, Mr. Akinwoye Abdulraouf, said Amaechi demonstrated quality leadership by ensuring that the right things were done properly.
“Amaechi has performed wonderfully well. He is a great man, and the history of standard gauge rail in Nigeria will not be complete without the mention of his name. He is a quintessential leader, visionary and a wonderful minister. He never gets tired of working and he puts his job first.
“Amaechi was always at the forefront during the track laying processes. Then, we had issues with host communities and Amaechi was at the forefront to handle the issue. He is an uncommon personality, he has proved his mettle,” he stated.
In his remark, the Technical Design Manager, Techniques Engineering and Architectural Marketing (TEAM), Mr. Saad Loufti, described Amaechi as a courageous leader with so much vigour, saying: “You are always ready for the job and you are full of strength. Our prayer is for you. We commend your courage and proactiveness, you have done wonderfully well.”
Amaechi, while responding to the accolades, thanked the contractors, the media and all stakeholders who were part of the team that worked tirelessly with him in achieving success in the rail sector.
According to him, “We had an objective to achieve the completion of the construction of the railway line from Ibadan to Lagos State before the past election, so we can use the two coaches and locomotives we had to convey passengers from Iju in Lagos State to Abeokuta, and we have achieved that. We have started pressurising the contractors to get to Ibadan, and I hope it will be possible to ride on the train from Iju to Ibadan on May 28. I thank journalists and all of you who participated in the process, and I wish you luck.”
However, in an earlier interview with journalists shortly after inspecting the Ebute-Meta to the Apapa end of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project, Amaechi explained that until the federal government extends the construction of the standard gauge rail from Ebute-meta to the Apapa seaport, only three hundred thousand cargoes will be conveyed yearly with the narrow gauge which is currently operational.