The Minster of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi has mandated the Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company to complete and deliver the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail (SGR) by December 2018 as agreed in the contractual agreement between them and the Federal Government.
The Minister made this known on Tuesday in Lagos durinng an official visit to the Nigerian Railway Corporation in continuation of his monthly visit to rail project sites across the country to ascertain the extent and quality of work done carried out so by the CCECC.
Speaking to journalists during a physical inspection stop over the Agege rail lines in Lagos, Amaechi appealed to Nigerians to be patient with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government in the delivery of its the project as part of the dividend of democracy.
On funding, he disclosed that the Federal Government is committed to honouring its own part of counterpart funding with the EXIM bank of China following the release of N60 billion, while the outstanding N12 billion will soon be paid to the contractors.
According to him, “You must work round the clock to make sure the project is delivered on time as agreed in the contract.Anything that will make the project go beyond 2018 will not be acceptable by the Federal Government. It is expected that after completion, the rail tracks will be test-run for at least one month”.
The minister who took a train ride from the Ebutte Metta Junction of the NRC to Agege charged the CCECC not violate the provisions of the binding agreement governing the contract by carrying out a globally acceptable standard rail line that will stand the test of time.
On some of the impediments hindering the progress of work along the corridor linking the Apapa seaport like right of way, the minister told the project consultants and various agenies involved to do all they can and work together with speed to ensure accelerated completion.
While making a presentation on the progress of work carried out so far, Leo Yin, Chief psProject Officer of CCECC said that between the Apapa port complex and Ebutte Metta, the project faces the complexes of rail line crossings between Ijora and Apapa port including the determination of right of way and existence of a number of public utilities where the tracks are to be laid.