The Federal Government has given a marching order to China construction giant, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), to work day and night, including on Sundays, to meet up with the 2018 deadline for the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, issued the directive yesterday, after the Steering Committee meeting on the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project, at Papalanto, Ogun State.
He said it was in line with the resolution of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to play up its achievements in the railway sector, ahead of the 2019 presidential election.
He also mandated the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) to equally work on Sundays in order to deliver the project to Nigerians as promised by the President Buhari-led administration.
“The new directive became imperative as a result of the urgency and the importance the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government attaches to the railway project in the country.
“We are already close to 2019 general elections and we must commission this railway project as the APC promised to Nigerians and we cannot afford to fail. You will have to work day and night and even on sundays, if need be, to deliver this project. We won’t entertain any excuse,” he warned.
The minister further instructed the company to write to the leadership of the Labour Union in Nigeria and intimate it the reasons to engage workers day and night as well as on Sunday, to avoid having problems with the union.
He said: “We are making progress, but, we felt they have slowed down, and their argument is that there is no way they could have done earth work during the rainy season. But, at the stakeholders meeting, they promised to improve now that the rain appears to be subsiding.
“Their fear, however, is that in the next one or two weeks, the rain will come down again, but, immediately after that, the speed will increase to make up for the past weeks that they slowed down the work.
“We told them, if they go by the original agreement then, everything will take three years, but, we told them that it has to be done in one year. I told them that they have to work day and night, including Sundays. I’m a Christian; so, I shouldn’t have given that advice, but, I have to do so because of the urgency of the work and the importance we attach to the project,” he said.