The federal government has ruled out the possibility of instituting any legal action against Chinese contractors, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) should it fail to meet up with the December deadline for the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan standard guage railway line.
It is coming on the heels of similar warning from the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, that the federal government will not compromise standard in the construction project.
“In all contracts there are penalties, that is why we are working together; where there are challenges, we solve it together and we can improve ability to deliver. We don’t want to go into legal matter with our contractors, it does not help matters. It should be that last resort.
Commenting on the new train and coaches, he argued that the bulk of the maintenance falls on the passengers lap, defending why train cannot be at full blast in Nigeria.
“The coaches are good but we need to maintain it otherwise they will breakdown quickly. The maintenance is not only for the NRC but also for the passengers. People are not use to this train. It will not be able to run at full speed because we need to put safety measures first.
Speaking during the inspection of the stations on the Lagos-Ibadan Railway line, he revealed that the Kano-Maradi project is at the stage of loan negotiation, adding that they are even fast tracking them.
“We believe that the fastest project will be Kano-Maradi. They are already doing Front-end Engineering even before the loan. We are insisting on that and we believe that the Front-end Engineering should be able to end before January, so we should be able to start construction before then.
“However, they should start now to acquire right of way, pay compensation and start clearing the right of way so that we can prepare, pending when the Front-end Engineering is over. There is a transition period between now and January, I suspect Kano-Maradi will start first,” he added.