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BIG EMBARRASSMENT! “You Have Not Done Anything…!”, Amaechi Fires As He Erupts In Serious Anger, Moves To Take Action

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The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has reacted to the ongoing work at the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Rail Gauge.  

Amaechi expressed sadness over the rate at which work is going on at the site. According to PM News, Amaechi blamed the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) for the slow pace of work at the ongoing construction of Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge rail line.   Amaechi expressed disappointment on the progress of work done so far while inspecting the project on Monday. The minister chided the contractor for slowing down work and track-laying from Distance Kilometre (DK) 121 to 157 of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project.

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According to him, the Federal Government plans to commence transportation of cargoes from the sea ports through the standard rail gauge by December.   “Since you came to this segment of the project, you have not done anything here. To those of you who are here with me on this inspection, did you see any work going on? There is no work at all.

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“From Kilometre 121 to 157, there is no work at all; and you have no reason whatsoever not to have worked, because we are not owing you. You are doing no job, absolutely no job,” he said.

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Amaechi also said that the Federal Executive Council would discuss the issue of the project during its next meeting. The minister said he was dissatisfied with the contractor, saying the company had failed to implement the affected section of the project as earlier discussed with them at a previous meeting.   According to him, the Federal Government has paid its own counterpart fund for the project.

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He said that the China construction company had no acceptable reason to tender for its inaction, since there was no funding problem on execution of the contract.   The minister, however, said that the contractor had pleaded for more time to meet the May deadline for the delivery date of the project.  

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  In a related development, the Federal Government has ordered two additional coaches for the Abuja-Kaduna rail service route to solve the passengers upsurge.   Mr Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, gave the directive on Monday during the monthly inspection of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan rail line at Ologuneru, Ibadan.

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There was an upsurge of passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train service due to the activities of kidnappers along the Abuja-Kaduna road, NAN reports.   Amaechi said the Nigerian Railway Corporation would move two additional coaches from Itakpe-Warri rail lines to that route. He also warned that staff caught in illegal sales of tickets would be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.

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“We are going there to arrest anyone caught up with tickets racketeering. The long queue at that axis is because coaches are not enough. The reason we bought those coaches was for people to sit down. But people are standing, they shouldn’t stand. But, I have directed that we should move two coaches from Itakpe-Warri to Kaduna-Abuja. Today is the first day that I will be giving this directive.   “The first directive I gave was to move two coaches from Itakpe-Warri to Lagos. When we saw the problem today, I told the MD, to move two coaches to Kaduna from Itakpe-Warri because, there are no much passengers in that axis,” he said.

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Amaechi stated that it would be difficult to manage and control passengers standing in the train because of the upsurge.   “The long term plan is that we are going to China between 24th and 30th to inspect the new coaches and locomotives we are buying for Lagos-Ibadan. We may be under pressure to put that on the Abuja-Kaduna route and if we do that, that would reduce the pressure at the moment, when there are more coaches and locomotives, the pressure will cool down,” he said.

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Recall that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has promised to improve rail transport to make transportation both easier and cheaper for Nigerians and it has swung into action.   Amaechi, said that until there is a connection between Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri to Lokoja and Abuja that is when more passengers would use the train on that axis. “The plan is on for the connectivity from Warri-Itakpe-Lokoja and we are talking to someone who want to build a park at Itakpe to carry passengers by road to Abuja, pending when we get approval and funding to link Abuja to Itakpe.”  

It is believed that after the construction of the various rails, then, transport of people and goods will be easier and faster as the pressure on road transport will be reduced. Nigerians will also have more transport choices to make.

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