Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has expressed dissatisfaction with the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), on the pace of work at the Abeokuta to Ibadan railway project.
Amaechi, who said this while briefing Journalists, after the monthly inspection of the railway, accused the Company of trying to stop the project after the Lagos to Abeokuta line is completed.
“What we are seeing, is a situation that looks like they want to finish from Lagos to Abeokuta and then they move their equipment” Amaechi said.
“What I have done, is to express my displeasure at the pace of work from Abeokuta to Ibadan”.
He noted, that the arguments are that they fall within the contract period, stating however, that the federal government has given CCECC the period that it thinks the work should be completed.
He also added that If the company had applied the same speed it applied from Iju to Abeokuta in Abeokuta to Ibadan, the same result would have been achieved.
The Minister, however cast suspicion on the activities and attitude of the company towards the project. “I suspect that they don’t want to spend money buying more equipment”, he said. “The issue is that we suspect that they are maximizing profit. If not, why won’t they buy equipment for all the sections of the project”.
He pointed out, that the company had insisted that its problem is equipment. “What they told us is that they want to buy equipment but it is not in the market”. On the issue of maximizing profit, he said that the company denied that.
He explained further, that there are challenges from Iju to the Lagos end of the railway project, adding that though it had been sorted out, it was the reason for the delay.
“It took quite some time for us to engage the Lagos state government. When we eventually engaged them, we have resolved all the problems after the engagement”, He noted. “You know that for them to mobilize and start work, you will not be as fast as we achieved from Iju to Ibadan. If the Lagos state government had engaged us when we wanted them to, that same speed would have applied from Iju to Apapa”.
“We beg Nigerians to bear with us from Iju to Apapa”, the Minister pleaded.
He added, that the company had been paid 100 percent of the counterpart funding, adding that fund is not the issue.
On the reason for the rush, he stated that government is pushing the company due to the push it is getting from the citizens.
“Just to make sure we satisfy you, we are also pushing the contractor to achieve that same result and maintain quality, so we are not the people pushing them, it’s you”, he ended