By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
The Federal Government has signed a contract agreement with the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) for the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Railway project.Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi who signed on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, said the contract is an addendum to the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Railway project which was initially awarded by the former President Goodluck Jonathanâ€™s Administration to CCECC.
He stated that the total sum of the contract is valued at $11.917billion disclosing that at the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari Administration, the Federal Government renegotiated the contract with the Management of CCECC and agreed at a contract sum of $11.117 billion thereby saving a whooping sum of $800million.
Amaechi reiterated that the Federal Government has completed the signing of the same contract with a different contract sum in order to legalize the new deal.
â€œWhat we have done today is signing same contract but different contract sum to make it legalâ€, he said.
The Minister further said part of the contract agreement with CCECC is to expedite action and conclude arrangement with the China-Exim Bank to facilitate the commencement of work on the Railway project noting that his desire and expectation is the completion of the project in two years.
On the funding of the project, the Minister assured that funding would not pose any hindrance to the smooth commencement and final completion of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Railway project.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has assured me that he is committed to the development of the Railway Sector in Nigeria and would not leave any â€˜stone unturnedâ€™ to achieving that dreamâ€, he said.
Explaining further, Amaechi said his Ministryâ€™s determination is to conclude the 1st and 2nd segments of the projects which run through Calabar-Uyo-Aba-Port Harcourt-Yenogua-Otuoke-Ughelli-Warri-Sapele-Benin-Ore-Ijebu-Ode-Lagos with a target of covering all the Seaports along those Routes in good time.
Speaking after the signing of the Contract agreement on behalf of CCECC, President of the construction giant, Mr. Cao Baogang expressed appreciation to the Federal Government of Nigeria and promised that the Company would not let the nation down and delivered on target.