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Can You Do This In Your Own Country, Wike Asks Chinese Company Building Abuja Rail



It was an awkward moment for officials of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC, handling the Abuja Metro light rail, when the FCT Minister, Nysome Wike, asked them if the rail project meets standards in China, earlier in the week during an inspection tour of the construction project, DDM learnt.

According to the minister, the project so far does not meet the standard befitting the nation’s capital on account of the poor ventilation system installed at the stations.

According to the minister who was a former governor of Rivers State, the realization for him is regrettable given that he already promised to deliver on the project by May 29 this year.

“That’s why it’s not good for you to be in the office. You have to go and see things for yourself and not depend on the reports coming from the field.

“You can imagine if I am sitting in the office and then depending on the reports from those who said they are in the field, by the time I come here in May, I will be messed up. But I thank God that I came to see things for myself.”

“But frankly speaking, knowing where I’m coming from, having presided over projects like this, I’m not in a happy mood at all,” the minister stated while on tour of the facility in Abuja recently.

Wike raised concerns about the design quality, particularly the absence of central cooling systems.

The FCT minister while as governor of oil rich governor was a regular patron of Julius Berger Construction company, leading construction giant in Nigeria.

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Wike expressed his dissatisfaction that the designs were subpar, stating that he would not have made promises if he had been aware of these issues earlier.

Despite expressing unhappiness with the ongoing construction, he remained focused on finding solutions to the identified issues and ensuring that the Metro Line becomes a functional and secure transportation system.

“From what I have seen, the designs are very poor. Whoever may have approved the designs is unfair to Nigerians.

“I’ve told CCECC that this kind of design is not even acceptable in their own country and if I had known before now, I would not have promised Mr. President that it would be ready.

“The design of the access roads linking to the various stations, those who conceptualised it…. people will always talk about money and so they rush into things without properly evaluating and seeing the benefit it will accrue to the residents and the users.

“The conceptualisation is not the best, but again what do you do? This is what is on the ground. We have to see how we can finish it on time,” the minister said.

Wike also said there are security lapses at the Abuja Metro Station despite a pre-existing security contract.

He lamented the continued theft and vandalism of rail infrastructure.

He specifically pointed out the absence of a perimeter fence promising to look into the matter immediately.

He expressed surprise that the security contract was not awarded to the CCECC and pledged immediate action to rectify the situation and enhance security measures.

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“When we visited the metro station, I discovered that there are issues of security lapses and I remember when I came for the first time after our inauguration, I did say that they have to work on the issue of security by putting on the fence around the metro station to ward off criminals.

“Unfortunately, that has not been done. To my surprise, I discovered that the contract was not even awarded to CCECC. It’s a different contract that was awarded by the FCT and this is my first time hearing that. We are going to take it up immediately to see that it is put in place because you can’t talk about the operation when you have not addressed the issue of security,” he said.

He therefore directed that the security contractors ensure improved security in the stations.

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