The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has urged China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), the Contractor handling the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway project to source materials locally as this will grow the Nigerian economy
Amaechi who made this known today while on the monthly inspection tour to access the level of work done, countered the argument that imported ones are cheaper by saying that there is no way the Nigerian economy can grow if foreign goods are continually patronized.
He reiterated the Federal Government’s Executive Order 005 on prioritizing Nigerian businesses and thus instructed the CCECC to source for materials such as doors, window frames, floor tiles among others from the country as this would not only translate to boosting the economy, but drastically reduce youth employment.
The Minister who was obviously very impressed with the pace of work done in respect of track laying as the 156km on the Lagos-Ibadan corridor had been reached, commended CCECC for agreeing to add 2km more at no extra cost.
Furthermore, the Minister recalled that the railway modernization project was conceived as a result of the need to decongest the Apapa Port, take off pressure on roads and open up the hinterland, adding that the Ebutte Meta -Apapa seaport is the next major hurdle which he hopes would be completed by February, 2020.
Also, during the inspection, the Minister called on the Project Consultants, Technics, Engineering, Architecture Marketing (T.E.A.M) to step up on its mandate of guiding, advising and giving him feedback on the progression project . Architectural Expert Manager, Antonio Previti, promised on behalf of his team to live up to expectations.
Also, speaking, the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria called on Nigerians to protect the railway project as it is for their benefit. He made this plea out of the rise in pilfering of rail line equipment and misuse of train facilities since the launch of the free train ride from Lagos-Ibadan on November 30, 2019.
Earlier, the Chairman, of CCECC, gave the assurance that the company will as much as possible use materials that can be sourced from Nigeria and promised to deliver the project by April 2020.