Minister of Transportation, Senator Ahmed Alkali, has described the reconstruction work on the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri narrow gauge rail line as disappointing.
Alkali disclosed this during an inspection visit to work sites in Port Harcourt and Kom Kom Community in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State over the weekend.
He slammed the contractor handling the project over the slow pace of work and choice of materials used.
Part of his statement reads,
“I’m here in Port Harcourt in continuation of my inspection visit of all the railway projects across the country.
“This inspection is starting from Lagos, where we moved to Kano to inspect Mararadi and then to Daura to inspect the transportation university.
“So we are in Port Harcourt to inspect the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri reconstruction and rehabilitation of the eastern narrow gauge.
“I am disappointed in what I have seen because this contract was signed for 36 months and it’s to cover over 2000km. So far event from Port Harcourt to Aba is around 47 per cent.”
“Ideally it is supposed to cover 47 per cent of the entire 2000km which by now we should be around plateau or so, and yet we are still struggling to be in Abia before the end of the year.
“I am not happy, in fact, I am disappointed. They are using manual alignment to lay the rail tracks in this 21st century. In this era of technology, if you are not ready for something, don’t even start it.
“The funding was made for 18 per cent to be provided by the federal government while 85 per cent to be provided by CCECC since the project kick-started the funding is only done with the federal government of 15 per cent. It shows how unserious the CCECC is in terms of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Project.”