Amaechi ‘not satisfied’ with work on Lagos-Ibadan railway

Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, says although work is progressing on the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line, he is not satisfied.

Amaechi said this on Monday when he inspected sections of the projects.

The minister lamented that the rains have slowed down the project as it has hindered earthwork.

“We are progressing and you will agree with me that we are. We felt that they have slowed down and their argument is that there is no way they could have done the earthwork during the raining season,” he said.

“We have been meeting and they briefed us that they will improve now that the rain appears to be stopping but their fear is that in the next one or two weeks, the rain will come again but immediately after that, they will increase the pace to make up for the past months that the rain has slowed them down.

“I am not satisfied and they have reason for me not being satisfied. They are not God and they cannot control so many elements, and so allow the element take place and this is earthwork and it cannot be done during raining season.”

The minister said the workers have laid tracks up to 12 kilometres, describing it as a progress from the three kilometres that was laid the last time he visited.

“They have done 12 kilometres and don’t forget that they only did three kilometres the last time we were here but I am still not impressed but their argument is that the track laying is not the problem because they said they can lay as many tracks as possible in a day but that the problem is earthwork,” he said.

“They said we should pray that the rain should stop in order for them to complete the earthwork. They have done 90 percent of earthwork from Ijoko upto Abeokuta and they think that in one or two weeks after the rain, they will complete the 10percent.

“So by the end of September they should have finished the bridges from Iju to Abeokuta but that still doesn’t solve our problem because that is not the contract because the contract which is phase one is Ebute Metta to Ibadan.”

The minister added that project — a deal with China — costs $1.6billion of which the federal government had already paid N72 billion counterpart funding.