The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says there is remarkable improvement on the pace of work on the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway line.
Amaechi made the assertion while interacting with journalists in Lagos on Friday after an inspection of the ongoing work on the Lagos axis of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line.
He spoke at the Ebute-Metta Office of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, the contractors handling the project.
The minister, who had earlier frowned at the contractors on Monday, said he had observed improvement in construction of stations and mobilisation of more staff to the sites.
Amaechi said: “We agreed that we will come to site and see what they have done, so we came and I think there is remarkable progress from the day we came till today.
“Just like I asked the journalists, if we saw the number of staff we saw today on site, we would not have complained.
“Going from here to the sea port, you will see remarkable improvement.
“Meaning that something was wrong before their chairman came.
“I am going now to have another meeting with him and we will have a total conversation on how to move forward.”
On Apapa axis, Amaechi said the contractor had promised that there would be remarkable improvement from next week.
The minister said the Federal Government would not allow laying of tracks before construction of stations when the Ibadan-Kano Standard Guage Rail line whenever the construction commenced.
He added that the laying of tracks and construction of stations must run concurrently to avoid the kind of delay experienced in the Lagos-Ibadan rail line.
On what the contractors should do differently on the Ibadan-Kano project, Amaechi said adequate manpower and prompt delivery of equipment were very critical issues the contractors must look into for speedy delivery.
He said: “I would be requesting from the chairman (of CCECC) that equipment must be commensurate to the volume of work and then manpower too must also be commemorate to the work
“If they do that, we should expect that in three years time, they should deliver on the project.”
On the deadline for the project, Amaechi, who declined affirming April delivery date, said the government was still hopeful.
The minister, who said he did not want to be talking about the deadline again, however, told newsmen that additional works contributed to the delay of the project.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ameachi inspected the project in company with the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria; and Chairman, Board of Directors, NRC, Malam Ibrahim Al-Hassan-Musa.
Amaechi, who was inspecting the project for the second time in the week, commenced the inspection at Ebute-Matta Station at 9am.
He later moved to Apapa Port axis in a train ride on the narrow gauge line.
Amaechi, who had earlier assured Nigerians that the entire project would be delivered by April, expressed doubt that the stations would be ready as planned during the Monday inspection.
NAN reports that the construction work is ongoing at the 10 stations along the 156km rail line corridor, which include Ebute-Matta, Agege, Agbado, Kajola, Papalanto, Abeokuta, Olodo, Omi Adio and Moniya.