Insecurity is slowing down the construction work on the Kano-Kaduna standard gauge rail project, contractor handling the job has lamented.
Indeed, it said only 22.6 per cent of the work had so far been accomplished.
The China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) awarded the project in 2021 disclosed this during an inspection of the work by the Minister of Transportation, Senator Sa’idu Ahmed Alkali.
Alkali was on construction site in the Makarfi Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Saturday.
The rail project involves a 203-kilometre double-track standard gauge railway from Kano to Kano with an estimated sum of $1.2 billion.
Nigeria’s Senate has approved China Development Bank as new financier for the Kaduna-to-Kano rail project at a cost of $973 million, after another Chinese lender withdrew from the project in 2020.
The CCECC while lamenting security challenge in the area sought collaboration with the military, recalling that two months ago, two of their personnel were kidnapped along Tashar Yari in the Makarfi LGA of Kaduna State.
Minister Alkali asked the contractors to review the metal clips they are using to hold the rail track.
He said doing so would help prevent the rail from being stolen or destroyed by vandals and thieves.
He said, “We came to see by ourselves, you know seeing is believing. We are able to appraise the performance of the contractors of Kano-Kaduna rail project.
“You can see as we stand here, we started raining some little observations in the clips they are using. We asked them to use anti-theft clips so that they cannot be easily removed.
“Although this project has security challenge, Nigerians should expect us to deliver in the shortest possible time,” he explained. (vitalnewsngr.com)