By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, has explained his passion to ensure that Nigeria achieves early completion of the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway Project.
He said linking the seaport to the hinterland by modernized rail transport system will boost Nigeria’s economic growth and development, and create job opportunity.
“The more you are able to move men and cargo or goods and services to the hinterland, the more you create jobs. And the more you create jobs, the more economic growth that you have,” Amaechi elaborated.
The transportation minister stated this during an inspection tour of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway Project site from Abeokuta,Ogun State to Ibadan, Oyo State on Friday.
Though he commended the quality and pace of work by the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), he frowned at the insufficiency of equipment and the stoppage of work by the contractor.
Chinese workers of the company left Nigeria during the general elections held in the country this year. “Because of election most of them left the country,” Amaechi stressed.
Amaechi charged the management of CCECC to buy more equipment and ensure that Km 110 to 120 will be ready before March 28 when he will visit again.
Together with the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria, the minister advised officials of CCECC on steps to be taken to receive approval for funding request.
Amaechi assured them that unforseen costs of the project presented by them will be discussed at the cabinet level, hoping it will receive favourable consideration.
He hinted that President Muhammad Buhari may visit the project and have a test run of the standard gauge railway train before May 29 inauguration of a new government.
In expression of his motivation to ensure speedy completion of the project Amaechi visits the project site once or twice a month for monitoring of the progress of work.