The Federal Government has expressed displeasure with Messrs China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), the contractors handling the Kano-Kaduna rail project over the slow pace of work on the project.
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi who made this known today while on a monthly inspection of of the 203.8 Kano-Kaduna rail project, said only 78km which represents 5% has been done and is unacceptable. He accused CCECC of paying politics with the project.
“I think the CCECC is beginning to play politics. They should move away from politics and focus on construction. And I think they need to complete the Kaduna-Kano rail as planned. I won’t say more than this until we meet with CCECC on Wednesday, ” he said.
Continuing, he said: “The speed is extremely slow. They are supposed to have over 2,000 equipment on this project, they have just 541 so far. They claim that over 300 are in Kaduna. We have sent a team to check. But even if you add that, you will still have just over 800. Just over 800 equipment compared to 2000. it means something is wrong somewhere.”
“I know they will claim that we haven’t funded them but part of their responsibility in the contract is for them to look for the money. CCECC hasn’t given us money; Chinese haven’t given us money. So they can’t afford to delay it because it is their responsibility to look for the money. That’s what the CCECC must do’ Amaechi said.
Amaechi, also questioned the failure of CCECC to commence work on the Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line, saying: “we have given them some money and nothing is happening. We can’t just give you money and you go to sleep.
”The Minister also visited the Dala Inland Dry Port, to ascertian the level of work on the project. He was, however, assured by the Managing Director, Dala Inland Dry Port, Ahmed Rabiu, that what remains to be done are, the access roads, electrical fittings and other minor works for operations to commence by 31st, March, 2022.Regarding implementation of the National Transport Policy, Amaechi informed he has taken the draft to Office o the Vice President and their inputs will determine when he can present it to the Federal Executive Council for approval.Also, responding to questions on e-ticketing, the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, informed the media that the Infrastructure Construction Regulatory Commission has just concluded shortlisting of eligible and qualified firms and hopefully by end of March, 2022, the electronic option for booking of tickets on the Lagos-Ibadan and Warri-Itakpe will also be launched.
On the inspection today was: the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, Director, Maritime Services, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Auwalu Sulieman, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shipper’s Council, Emmanuel Jime, amongst others.
Director, Press & PR
5th March, 2022