The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has accused the China Civil Engineering Corporation (CCECC) of playing politics with the construction of the Kaduna-Kano rail project.
The Minister made the claim on Saturday during a routine inspection of the strategic rail project.
TheFact Nigeria noted that, the former Governor of Rivers State charged the construction firm to focus on the construction, which is their primary responsibility.
According to Amaechi, “Going by the pace of work, I think CCECC is beginning to play politics, they should move away from politics and focus on construction and I think they need to complete the Kaduna-kano rail. I will not say more than this until I meet with them on Monday.
“The speed is extremely slow, equipment is supposed to be over 2000 and all they have brought so far is 541. They claim that over 300 is in Kaduna, people have gone to check that.
“Even if you add that together, it will be about 800 equipment, 800 as compared to 2000 that they are supposed to bring is nothing and it means something is wrong somewhere.
“I know they will claim we have not funded them but part of their responsibility in the contract is to look for the money and CCECC has not brought money, the Chinese are no longer giving us money for more than three years to four years now. So, they cannot afford to delay it because it is their responsibility to look for the money.
“That is what the Chinese must do. I will only address the press and the country when I finish meeting with them on Monday, I will tell them my mind and if there is no difference, I will tell the country what is going on”.
Commenting on the vandalisation on rail tracks, the Minister said, “the press must be careful because when you use the word vandalisation, it is as if they are stealing the clips. They also cut some parts in the narrow gauge.
“For the standard gauge, they steal the cilps and what NRC does is that they go through it before the train begins to run to fix back clips. It is expensive, it is costing the government alot but as we install the security gadget, I think that will reduce”.
On Port harcourt -Maiduguri rail project, the Minister said: “we have given them some money and we think they should start work. According to them, they said they will start building camps but for me who is not an engineer, camp does not matter to me, all I want to see is the laying of tracks, so on Wednesday, CCECC must tell us because they can not award contract to a company and the company goes to sleep.
“We have paid them some money for Port Harcourt -Maiduguri, so they must tell us why they are not on site because you cannot say there is no land, it is an old track, so they must start work”, Amaechi said.
On his part, the Managing Director, Dala Dry Port, Ahmed Rabi, said: “It is feasible to commence operations at the Dala Inland dry port within the next couple of weeks. Access road, we have been guaranteed would be completed within a week, and other facilities will be completed soon.
“We assure you that on 31st March, this place will be ready and it will just wait for the Minister to do the last bit which is to declare it as a port of origin and destination because all the equipment are ready”, he said.