Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The federal government at the weekend said in Ibadan, Oyo state, that the construction of the Ibadan-Kano rail project will kick off by first quarters of year 2020.
This is even as it commended the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) for completing the 156 kilometer track from Lagos to Ibadan.
The minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, while speaking to journalists, on the sidelines of the December inspection of the project, hinted that the Chinese are fixated on completion of work by April, noting that government was pushing them back to work starting from January 6,
According to him, “the excuses they are giving now is that most of their workers have gone on Christmas break.
I quite disagree with the speed of work at the stations, but they have tried with the tracks, this is the first time that we are taking ride from Lagos to Ibadan major station.
“We should commend them that they have been able to get to the 156km the remaining 2km is not part of the contract, because the contract states 156km.”
He said: “Although am not quite happy with their pace of work, but they have said they have a time line which is for the minor stations to be ready by February and major stations would be ready by April which means you can commission by April or you force them to speed up and that will be be before February.
He added, “they have done well in track laying and construction of stations. Well I have told them to source for their materials locally things like doors windows can be bought in Nigeria, we are encouraging them to use our materials from Nigeria so that our industry can grow
“What you see in Kajola station is the trial run of our local content including the tiles, windows and doors, if they meet the standard we are looking for, we will then recommend that all other station use local materials.”
Speaking further, Amaechi revealed that the project is expected to be ready by April. Adding: “by first quarter next year we would have moved to Ibadan Kano.