By Emmanuel Daudu
The Hon. Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has urged local contractors to focus on building their capacity as he expressed concern over profile impersonation by contractors in a bid to get contracts.
“I am one of the elites who believe in encouraging our indigenous contractors, but our challenge here is that they have neglected the place of capacity building, forgetting that this area is very important and essential.
“We value the lives of Nigerians, that’s why all contractors applying for our contracts must meet our requirements”.
Amaechi also admonished them to be as truthful as possible while applying by not using other companies’ profiles.
” Don’t use other companies’ profiles because we will discover. Also, make available pieces of evidence of jobs done previously and follow requirements carefully soon as we call for contract bidding”.
The minister made this know to journalists in Lagos on Friday while undertaking post-inspection on the Lagos-Ibadan Rail network.
After the post-inspection exercise, granting audience to journalists in the bejeweled conference room of the train, Amaechi attributed the break down of Abuja-Kaduna railway route to poor maintenance culture, added that the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr. Fidet Okhiria, had informed him that the corporation was yet to receive spare parts it purchased.
However, he stated that the ministry would direct the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) to release some rolling stocks ordered for Lagos to Ibadan rail tentatively, for Abuja-Kaduna rail to arrest the re-occurring incident.
Speaking on the construction of the Port-Harcourt-Enugu standard gauge, he revealed that the ministry was yet to get approval for procurement.
“We have to wait for the Department of Public Procurement to give us approval. We also need the Federal Executive Council to give us approval on the supervising engineers before commencement.
“If the supervising engineers are not in place to tick off the drawings, we cannot consult the project because that is where we are and that is the challenges we are having with Kano-Makurdi and Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri rail project.
“As we are talking today, we have secured a loan facility for Lagos /Calabar, but we will not start until we contact the engineers and I am worried that it may take us to the end of the year 2021″.
Reacting to how well the Lagos-Ibadan train operations have been since after commissioning, he revealed that the rail network has moved a total of 42,000 passengers in June.
“We expect the figure to increase in the coming months when the system commences operation of Lagos/Ibadan standard gauge railway,” he added.