In what seemed like a farewell gathering, contractors handling the construction of various Railway projects in the country have commended the Minister of Transportation , Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for his outstanding performance in the Rail sector.
The commendation is coming few weeks to the end of the first tenure of the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking at a steering committee meeting of the Lagos-Ibadan Railway project in Papalanto, Ogun State , on Saturday, Mr. Xia Lijan, who is the Project Manager, Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) said , Amaechi has without doubts, demonstrated leadership skills in championing the construction of the Rail projects.
He said, from the track laying works to the production of beams in the Lagos-Ibadan project, the Minister conformed with the contract agreement and demonstrated honesty in totality.
Hear him,” We wish to recall the great day of 7th March,2017 when the Vice President of Nigeria Prof.Yemi Osinbanjo performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the 156 kilometres Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway project , that marked the commencement of regular monitoring, supervision and coordination by our amiable Minister, Chibuike Amaechi”.
“Appreciating CCECC’s Railway engineering excellence and technological know-how, the Minister without doubts, demonstrated his wonderful leadership skills and workaholic dictates in championing the cause of these great feats we have achieved”.
” From the track laying works,production of beams for Rail bridges, earthwork solidification and other segments of the Railway engineering were excellently monitored by the Minister in conformity with the contract agreement which makes me believe that the Minister may not be far from being a hidden Railway technocrats . He has really showcased his visionary traits, as he fully demonstrated honesty and total commitment to the development aspirations of President Muhammadu Buhari “,he said.
On his part, Mr. Akinwoye Abdulraouf, Public Relations (PR) consultant, to CCECC, said, Amaechi demonstrated quality leadership by ensuring that the right things were done properly .
” Amaechi has performed wonderfully well. He is a great man , the history of Standard Gauge in Nigeria will not be complete without the mention of his name. He is a quintessential leader, visionary and wonderful Minister. He never gets tired of working and he puts his job first”.
” Amaechi was always at the forefront during the track laying processes. Then, we had issues with host communities and Amaechi was at the forefront to handle issues. He is an uncommon personality, he has proved his mettle”,he explained.
Also, Mr. Saad Loufti, Technical Design Manager, Techniques Engineering and Architectural Marketing (TEAM) , described Amaechi as a courageous leader with so much vigour , saying, ” You are always ready for the job and you are full of strength .Our prayer is for you. We commend your courage and proactiveness, you have done wonderfully well”.
Amaechi, responding to the accolades thanked the contractors, the media and all stakeholders who were part of the team that worked tirelessly with him in achieving success in the Rail sector.
Amaechi said, “We had an objective to achieve completion of the construction of the Rail from Ibadan to Lagos State before the past election, so we can use the two Coaches and Locomotives we had to convey passengers from Iju in Lagos State to Abeokuta, and we have achieved that. We have started pressurizing the Contractors to get to Ibadan, and I hope It will be possible to ride on the train from Iju to Ibadan on the 28th of May. I thank the Press and all of you who participated in the process and wish you luck”, Amaechi replied.
However, in an earlier interview with the Press, shortly after inspecting the Ebute-Meta to the Apapa end of the Lagos-Ibadan Railway project, Amaechi explained that , until the Federal Government extends construction of the Standard Gauge Rail from Ebute -Meta to the Apapa Seaport , only three hundred thousand cargoes will be conveyed yearly in the Narrow Gauge which is currently operational.
He said that when construction of the Standard Gauge is extended to the Seaport, It would convey about forty million tones of cargoes yearly .
“We are yet to extend construction of the Standard Gauge to the Apapa Seaport. The Narrow Gauge is not functioning at its capacity and until those two things happen we cannot move enough cargoes “.
” Currently, we are moving between two to three hundred thousand tones of cargoes in a year , and we have about forty million tones of cargoes “.
” So, If you have about forty million tones of cargoes you need to make sure that the tracks function properly before cargoes can be transported “.
According to Amaechi, to extend the Rail line , two bridges will be demolished at Costain and Jibowu axis of Lagos State.
” There are two bridges we are going to demolish in Lagos; one is at Constain and the other one is at Jibowu but we have to finish construction before we demolish because Lagos is such a heavy economy that If you demolish without first of all constructing the alternative bridges, you ‘ll cause serious crisis with the traffic. So, we will first finish construction before we demolish the Jibowu bridge. They have commenced with Constain; when they finish with construction and get the traffic relieved, then we’ll demolish the old bridge “.
Amaechi who also gave a breakdown of the status of the entire Lagos-Ibadan Railway project said, the contract is in two segments which are ; extension of the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail line from Ebute- Meta to Apapa Seaports and from Ebute-Meta to Ibadan .He noted that the contract sum for the extension is about 90 million dollars.
Gift Okpara(CRA MEDIA OFFICE)