The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has summoned the Managing Director of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation over shortage of equipment deployed for the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan standard guage rail project.
Amaechi summoned the official during the monthly inspection of the Lagos-Ibadan rail corridor in Ibadan, Oyo state.
He said that though he was impressed with the level of progress on the project, adding that for more to be done before the December deadline, more equipment must be purchased for the launching of beams.
According to him, CCECC needs to launch the beams in three months with more equipment, one launching toward Ibadan and the other toward Papalanto and Abeokuta.
Amaechi, however, scheduled a meeting with the CCECC Managing Director on Monday to deliberate on the way forward on some of the challenges limiting the progress of work on the site.
He said: “The problem with the launching of the beams is that they are ready to launch, but they don’t have enough equipment, if they get enough equipment then they can launch more beams.
“However, if they don’t get more equipment then we have a problem.
“They have just two equipment one launching from Ibadan now, which the company said still has five outstanding (bridge) then one launching from Papalanto to Abeokuta.
“They have about four or five (bridges) to Lagos and even if they want to launch them together it will take three months because if they don’t launch it, we can’t cross.
“We are impressed with the work they have done from Ibadan to Abeokuta, because of the choice of station location in Abeokuta they completely abandoned it from Abeokuta to kilometre 133.
“However, today, we drove up to kilometer 89, meaning that it was just two more kilometres to get to the MKO Abiola pavilion.
“They have relatively done well, I think by December the whole work should be ready that won’t be the problem.
“The problem is launching of beams to cross and the laying of tracks because you can’t lay tracks unless you cross the bridge that is why I said they need to get more equipment.”
The minister said he wanted to see their work programmes, reason he asked the Managing Director to see him.
He stressed the need for the company to possibly buy more equipment, to fast-track the project, saying that only bridges and minor Civil works are left.
Amaechi, however, said that they are still on course to meet the December deadline, adding that the issue on the stations’ design would be concluded in two weeks.
The minister noted that what worried him now was not the issue of pipes, saying that there was disagreement with the design between TEAM and CCECC, not in terms of structural, technical or electrical but that they have not brought it for the team to approve.
He said that the government has given them two weeks to return all the design of all the stations, saying some of the stations won’t take up-to two months to be completed.
Amaechi explained that they still have two years more to complete the contract, saying that Nigerians are eager to see results.