Strong indications emerged Tuesday that Lagos-Ibadan Rail project may face delay if the challenges of gas pipeline, Military property, Jibowu and Constain bridges are not surmounted ahead of the December 2018 completion deadline.
The Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, who spoke to journalists while on an inspection of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project in Papalanto, Ogun State, assured that the federal government will do all within its power to address the challenges and still meet the December 2018 deadline.
For the delivery of a good rail project, the minister stated that the Jibowu and Costain bridges in Lagos State will be demolished.
“There is no way you can do construction without challenges in different forms and kinds and you have to address them.”
“The challenges are not even here in Ogun, they are worse in Lagos. We are dealing with water, drainage, gas, power and the military. The only thing we are dealing with here is just gas and a few power transmission lines and we can manage it.”
On the demolition of Jibowu and Costain bridges, he said: “I was on a tour with the Governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode and we have agreed that the two bridges will come down.
The Minister said the president administration is determined to deliver the completion of the project to Nigerians come December 2018.
He also said President Muhammad Buhari will before this end of the month commission 10 new locomotives.
“The president will be commissioning it this December. We want to make sure that those travelling from Abuja to Kaduna are able to use the new coaches and locomotives,” he said.
The minister, who examined the level of work done by the contractors, expressed worry over the rate at which the project is being executed.
He, however, assured Nigerians that the December 2018 deadline set for the completion of the project still holds, saying the contractors would need to intensify their efforts.
“The December 2018 deadline for the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line remained unchanged even as he added that President Muhammadu Buhari directive to connect the country with rail lines must be obeyed without wavering.”
“The president is very passionate about the rail projects and has insisted on that the country must be connected by rail and so, by December 2018, the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line must be completed and delivered to Nigerians.”
The minister also assured that none of the contractors is being owed by the government
Though, he expressed some displeasure at the pace of work when he said, “I am telling them that I am not satisfied with the pace at which they are going.
“I am a layman, the Chairman and the MD are engineers, but as a layman, I think by now they should have started laying tracks in some areas and that I have not seen even though the MD said in one month, the tracks can be laid. I want to see that we are ready to lay the tracks.”
Also speaking, the Lagos-Ibadan rail line Project Manager, Tang Xiao Dong , said water pipes, sewer pipes and gas pipes across the rail corridor in Lagos State were obstructing construction work on the rail line which he said was a major problem for his company despite the over 70 percent work-in-progress completion level attained as at November 6, 2017.
He called for urgent attention to solve the problem in order to avoid unnecessary delay of construction work on that axis.
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