Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi has said deadlines for Chinese contractors China Civil Engineering Consultion Company constructing the new railway standard gauge line from Lagos to Ibadan have been scrapped, adding that it is important to delivering a durable project than to push for a quick commissioning.
Amaechi stated this in Ibadan after completing an inspection of the projects, the Minister having stated earlier in the year that the contractor had until the end of October to complete the minor stations, giving the major stations until the end of November.
He added that the Federal Government is expected to borrow from from European banks to fund Kano-Maradi projects. Meanwhile, he reiterated that it is easier to borrow from the Chinese than other banks.
He also said that the Ministry has spent more in providing safety protocols for the projects.
‘We don’t have deadline again. Any person talking about deadline is gossip. The most important thing is to have a durable project. We need to build something that will withstand the test of time. No timeline the job will soon come to an end.
‘It will be unfair not to praise this people because the last time we inspected the project, I was literally quarreling with them. We quarreled at all stations. But today, the only station I am not happy with them are Papalanto and Abeokuta. Out of ten we have two, so they tried.
‘We have other projects to start and what is delaying them is funds. There is no funds. We have to borrow from European banks to fund the other projects. But I suspect Kano-Maradi will start first. I can’t give you a timeline on the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri because it is more tedious to borrow from the Chinese even as the terms are good. The Chinese have a way of slowing down a loan process,’ he stated.
Meanwhile, the Italian consultant, T.E.A.M said that it has been tedious working with the chinese contractors. According to the Deputy, Head Archetture, Yetunde Ogunwunmi, said that the Chinese contractors are not used to working with consultants
‘It took us time to build trust with them to have a better project. Right now, we are in a phase where we argue and solve issues together ourselves. The Chinese are not used to working under consultant, they are used to working directly with the government. The truth is working with consultants gives a better standard and these are two different nation’s and believe, there is probability of such happening,’ she stated.