The Minister of Transportation, Rt.Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has stated that the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail project which is at about 80 percent completion, will ease movement of commuters and create multiple job opportunities for people in that axis.
The Minister who made the statement in a parley with journalists during a train ride after inspecting the progress of work at the Itakpe – Ajaokuta – Agenebode – Uromi – Agbor – Warri axis of the rail line project, noted that the essence of doing projects by the Federal
Government are not meant to give anybody money but to spread
Earlier during physical inspection of various locations of the rail
line projects, Rt. Hon. Amaechi said that the rail line project started
about 34 years ago but the present administration under the leadership
of President Muhammad Buhari is compelling the contractors to finish
the rail line project this year 2018.
“The project is between 70 to 80 per cent complete, but you must know that this job is meant to be completed in 2019. However, we are compelling them (the contractors) and because we are pushing, they are working day and night to have it done” the Minister said.
The Minister stated that the 34 years abandoned rail line is on rehabilitation by the cost of about $200 billion, stressing that the project would be completed before the scheduled date.
He noted that the Lagos-Ibadan rail line is an entirely new project as it was awarded from scratch at the cost of $1.5 billion.
“Just like this is supposed to end by 2019 but we are saying no, you must leave site before October. Although we had a verbal agreement with them to quit site by June 2018. However, in terms of contract, it is 2019.”
The Minister, said the contractors handling the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri
rail project might be asked to stretch the rail line to Lokoja, to ensure seamless travel experience.
On interferences with projects by locals, he said that projects of either states or federal government are meant for development and not to enrich a particular group.
He advised the benefiting communities to cooperate with the contractors in order to enjoy the developmental
infrastructure the FGN is putting in place to make the life of citizens better.
In a chat with the Project Coordinator of CREDCO/CCECC for the Itakpe– Ajaokuta-Warri Rail Project, Mr Bomai Abdulmajid, advised that the rail lines should also be linked to the water ways in Lokoja, Baru and Warri ports in order to have an integrated transport system that will reduce the pressure on our roads.
Again, The Assistant General Manager, Ore Rail Line, National Iron
Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) Itakpe, Mr Nuel Jimi Udoh suggested that
the rail line should be linked to Warri Port and Warri Refinery for
movement of goods and petroleum products from Warri to Itakpe, so that
trucks and tankers from the North Can pick their goods from Itakpe.
There was a great excitement in Warri when the the train arrived
with the Minister of Transportation his entourage, crew members and
journalists as well as the contractors.
According the Minister, “I am satistisfied with the level and quality of work by the contractors”
The contractors handling the projects are the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) and Julius Berger.