The federal government has ordered China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) to work day and night, to avert any unforeseen situation that may derail the December deadline set for the completion of Lagos/Ibadan railway.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, while giving the order on behalf of government during the monthly steering committee meeting at Papalanto, Ogun State, said his office is not happy with the slow pace of work.
He however said more time would be given since the site engineers had complained of rainy season.
Amaechi, during tour of the 156 kilometre project sites, also mandated the management of the company to work on Sundays in order to deliver the project as planned by President Muhammadu Buhari led administration.
According to him, “the new directive became imperative as a result of the urgency and importance attached to the railway project by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government”.
The Minister further instructed the company to write the leadership of the Labour Union in Nigeria and intimate it with the reasons it should engage workers day and night as well as on Sunday, to avoid having problems with the union.
He said: “we are progressing but we felt that they have slowed down, and their argument is that there is no way they could have done earth work during the rainy season. At the stakeholders’ meeting, they promised to improve now that the rain appears to be abating.
“Their fear however, is that in the next one or two weeks the rain will come down again but immediately after, the speed will increase to make up for the past weeks that they slowed down the work.
We told them, if they go by the original agreement, everything will take three years but we told them that it has to be done in one year.
“I told them that they have to work day and night including Sundays. I am a Christian; I shouldn’t have given that advice but I have to do so because of the urgency of the work and importance we attach to the project.
Amaechi, speaking further, hinted that, “CCECC have been able to complete 12 kilometres of tracks laying. Last time we were here they did three kilometres but I am not satisfied with it.
“Their argument is that track lane is not the problem, they can lay as many tracks as possible in a day, but the problem is earth work and we should pray that the rain should stop so that they can complete earth work.
They have done 90 percent of earthwork from Iju to Abeokuta and it remains 10 percent. I hope that they would complete it before December.”