‘Poor’ Execution of Eastern Rail Project: S’East Youth Coalition Faults Firm, NRC

‘Poor’ Execution of Eastern Rail Project: S’East Youth Coalition Faults Firm, NRC

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia 

Youth Leaders under the aegis of Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) have faulted claims that the 63-kilometre Eastern Narrow-gauge Railway project has been completed.

Both the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Company(CCECC), and the Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr. Fidet Okhiria, had reportedly announced the completion of the railway project.

But in a statement signed by the President General of COSEYL, Goodluck Ibem and made available to journalists in Umuahia, Thursday, the group insisted that it was “alarmed” at the claims that the project had been completed.

The group said that the track laying aspect of the project was far from being fully completed.

According to the group, with a close observation anyone  “who is not even an engineer will not approve the project as completed”.

“The job was shabbily done by the contractors and we will not accept such shabby job,” the group said, adding that any claims of job being well done should be disregarded.

To further substantiate its stance that the railway project has not been completed, COSEYL pointed out that the railway crossings in the commercial city of Aba have constituted nightmare for residents.

“After the construction of the railway line, vehicles cannot pass through Ukwuachara by rail, Ojoto by rail and other roads that crossed the rail which were before now passable when we had the old rail line.

“The CCECC removed the asphalt along Aba-Owerri Road, Uratta Road and other roads where the rail line crossed and poured gravels on the roads which makes it very difficult for vehicular movements.

The group also stated that it was noticeable that “some bolts and nuts are not in place (on the tracks) along Uratta axis of the railway line”.

The youth leaders noted that “the rehabilitation of the railway line was not intended to make life difficult for the people but rather to make things easy for Nigerians”.

However, the group said that from what is ground, the project was not serving that well intentioned purpose as “people stay in traffic for 4 to 5 hours just to pass through a railway crossing”.

COSEYL which regards itself as the foremost socio-political youth group in the Southeast zone, called on the CCC “to get back to work immediately to complete their job” and ease   “the very serious traffic jams” at the railway crossings in Aba.

The group warned that should the contractor fail to return to project site in three days, it would embark on one million man protest march, which would persist until the proper thing was done. 

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