…Shows Satisfaction over signs of progress on Ebutte Metta to Apapa axis
By Adelola Amihere
As the Lagos Ibadan railline project nears completion, the Minister of Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi has tasked the China Civil Engineering Construction Company, CCECC to ensure that both equipment and manpower for the Ibadan to Kano rail project are upscaled in other to meet up the three years completion date.
Although the project which is yet to commence as the loan for the project has not been received , the Minister pointed out that the three years completion period signed in the Contract was feasible.
Amaechi spoke at the sidelines of an emergency inspection tour on Friday in company of the Chairman, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Group, Zhao Dianlong following his dissatisfaction over the pace of work with regards the completion of the stations along the Lagos to Ibadan rail line and the Ebute Metta to Apapa axis of the project.
He said, “For the Ibadan to kano we have said it for long, manpower and equipment will deliver the job on time. What you se here is that those equipment you saw on site.
” So I will request from the Chairman that equipment must be commensurate to the volume of work that we have. Manpower r too must also be commensurate to the volume of work that we have.
” If they do that, we expect that three years time, they should be able to deliver on the ibadan to kano on time.”
He also clarified that buying more equipment will not amount to additional financing as it was already inbuilt in the contract.
“That won’t mean more money. You see, the problem with contractors is that they want to maximize profits. They are all in built in the contract sum so what they do is that if they want to maximize profits, they don’t buy enough equipments believing that if even if it takes a longer time to complete, the equipment they have will enough, ” he explained
The Minister however expressed some level of satisfaction over the progress of work made so far following his displeasure of the slow pace of work observed during the monthly inspection which held on Monday.
According to him,” I think there is some remarkable progress from the day we came to today. If we saw the number of staff we saw on site today,, we would t haven’t complained.
” Going from here(EbutteMetta) to the Sea Port, we see remarkable improvement meaning that something was wrong before their Chairman came. I am going now to have another meeting with him and we will have a total conversation about moving forward.”
Responding to questions on whether not completing the project within the time agreed upon in the contract could affect the terms of the contract, the Minister opined that it was better to explore other practical means than going legal.
” Well, we showed that a bit yesterday by calling a meeting with them, our lawyers and their lawyers. It’s complex and the reason is that the original time for the contract to have expires is May.
” But they made an argument which we can’t also fault. They said additional works which we gave them 6months for each additional works. If you add 6months to the time, we are talking about next year.
” So instead of looking at law, look at practicality and compel them to speed up because by the time I met them yetseday, it was not important that I talk about the law because they will say okay, we will complete in May, but what about the additional work on the stations, on the tracks, flyover, underpasses?.
It affected the time of completion. So you can not go to the law, you can only be practical,” Amaechi pointed