The Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line would be ready for commercial operations by 2019, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has assured.
Amaechi also said government was funding the revival of the project at a cost of about $200 m while $1.5bn was earmarked for the Lagos-Ibadan rail project.
The minister, while inspecting the project, said it was between 70 to 80 per cent completed, saying: “but you must know that this job is meant to be completed in 2019.”
“However, we are compelling the contractors to finish it by 2018. We are pushing and they are working day and night to have it done.”
On whether the project has followed the stipulated time frame, he said: “If it is time-frame, they are well ahead of schedule. It is meant to be completed in 2019. What we do here is what we are doing in Lagos-Ibadan project. It is actually a three-year contract. But we are forcing them to a one-year completion period.”
Programme Manager of the consultancy firm handling the project, Chiedu Nwazoije, however, complained about the security problem in the South-South Region, which he said affected the pace of work.