By Lucy Ogalue
Abuja, Aug. 17, 2020 Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said over 20,000 workers were engaged for the ongoing construction of Lagos-Ibadan rail project.
Amaechi said in a statement on Monday that the engament was in compliant with the local content law inherent in the 1.6 billion dollar contract agreement between Nigeria and China.
He made the clarification at a public hearing in Abuja, while responding to concerns by the House of Representatives Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements that local content was not observed in the course of the project.
He said, “There are over 20,000 Nigerian workers employed for the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project, only 560 of the workers on that project are Chinese.
“Most materials for the project are also locally sourced, except for those that were manufactured outside Nigeria.
“We have over 150 Nigerians being trained as Engineers in China. The Chinese has also built two training institutions for us, one at Idu and the other one is the Transportation University in Daura, Katsina State.”
The minister revealed that only a contract of 1.6 billion dollars was awarded by the present administration in the Ministry of Transportation.
He said that was against the allegations by the committee Chairman, Nicholas Ossai that there was a 33 billion dollars contract awarded by the present administration.
“Mr Chairman, there is no 33 billion dollar contract in the Ministry of Transportation.
“What we have is 1.6 billion dollars awarded by this government for Lagos-Ibadan, for which the Chinese government is providing 1.2 billion dollars and we are providing the remaining 400million dollars,” Amaechi said.
Amaechi restated that the coastal rail project may not sail through if the House committee continues its investigations on the project before the loan is granted.