Nigerian government says movement of cargoes from sea port through rail line will begin in December.
This development would further decongest influx of containers at the seaports.
Minister of transport, Rotimi Amaechi stated this after the Lagos-Ibadan railway Project Monitoring Steering Committee/Inspection tour of the rail line in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Amaechi was angry that the contractor failed to implement the affected section of the project as he earlier discussed with them in the previous meeting.
He said that the China construction corporation had no acceptable reason to tender for its inaction.
Fund for Project
According to him, the Nigerian government had paid its own counterpart fund for the project, and therefore, expressed concerns over the delay since the contractor was not having a funding problem to execute the contract.
“Since you came to this segment of the work, you have not done anything here. Nobody is working; you are just not serious. Those of you who are here with me on this inspection, did you see any work? There is no work at all.
“From kilometer 121 to 157, there is no work at all; and you have no reason whatsoever why you should not work because we are not owing you. You are doing no job, absolutely no job,” the transport Minister explained.
He said that they had reviewed the entire 157 point 5 kilometers of railway and came to the conclusion that they had done well and the need to speed up.
“I’ll like to say We have given them a target and by next inspection which on the 8 and 9 of may they should get to kilometer between 121 and 130 and then we also discussed that by next meeting they will begin to look at the stations the small stations we’re going to look at signaling ,because if we finish the track, we believe it would be between may and 1st week in June there is no station then there will be no signal.
What we are saying is that the pace of work at kilometer 110 to 121, and kilometer124 to 157 work is slow , they promise to increase their speed.
The issue with community at DK 85 has been resolved the road will be constructed and that will help assist the village. On the may target for a ride, it’s fifty fifty why I said that is because ,they can if they want to but what’s the benefit of getting may when they said give us up to first week in June” he explained.
He said there was no excuse for the delay, that they keep saying the machine broke down based on the pressure of speed.
He said: “The queue is because the coaches are not enough. People are stranding but they should not stand. The reason for which we bought those coaches was for people to sit down.
“We have directed that they move two coaches from warri to Abuja. The first directive I gave is to move two coaches from itakpe warri to Lagos, now when we solve the problems, today i told the MD to move two coaches from itakpe, because there are not many passengers in itakpe warri.
The minister noted that until there was a connection from itakpe and lokoja, and itakpe to abuja, there could be usage of the coaches and we are talking to somebody who wants to build a park at itakpe to carry people to Abuja pending when we get approval for funding to link Abuja by road to itakpe
He explained how difficult it is to manage Abuja because the upsurge is high, even with additional two more coaches it would be one hundred and fifty. So what we are saying is in the long term is that, we are going to China within 23 to 30 to inspect the new coaches and locomotives we are buying for Lagos -Ibadan.
“We may be under pressure to borrow from Lagos -Ibadan and put on the Kaduna-Abuja, if we do that, it would reduce the pressure , the moment there are more locomotives the pressure would come down,” he concluded.