Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Rail Contract: Transport minister angry with CCECC over money, threatens Chinese firm

“The CCECC have not brought anything to the table…If I don’t get that money on the ground, I know what to advise Mr President to do,” Mr Sambo threatened.

• August 13, 2022
Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) logo
Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) logo.

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, has threatened to sanction the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) for not meeting up with the contract of providing 85 per cent of rail projects cost.

The projects are the Kano-Kaduna and the Maiduguri-Port Harcourt rail lines. Mr Sambo stated this at the inspection of the Lekki Deep Seaport on Saturday in Lagos.

“The CCECC have not brought anything to the table. I gave them a deadline, which is October 30. If I don’t get that money on the ground, I know what to advise Mr President to do,” Mr Sambo threatened the Chinese firm.

The transport minister, who expressed satisfaction with the Lekki Deep Seaport project, noted that initiatives were on the ground to ensure the smooth evacuation of cargo at the port.

“I am impressed and happy to be back here. This we know is the pride of all Nigerians, the first deep seaport in West Africa that will take the largest ship in the world has 16.5 meters deep and will give us hundreds and thousands of jobs,” the minister said. “Almost automated, not fully but automated enough to make life easy for port operations. It is initiatives like this we want to encourage. That is why I did not hesitate when I came to the ministry, and I saw a proposal of the Badagry deep seaport sitting on my table and took it immediately for approval.’

Mr Sambo further mentioned that the president was concerned about cargo evacuation at the port and did not want a repeat of the Apapa and Tin Can port. 

“So, we cannot rely on the road alone, which is not the best option. There is a need to sit down with stakeholders to see how to tackle this,” added the minister.

He pointed out that cargo evacuation was not just within the port but outside the port, as goods must reach the final destination.

(NAN)

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