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FG Saved $800million On Lagos – Calabar Rail Project After Negotiation – Amaechi

Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, President China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, (CCECC) Mr. Cao Baogang and Managing Director China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, (CCECC) Jack Lii, during the exchange of Memorandum of Understanding signed on behalf of the Federal Government with CCECC on the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Railway Project at Ministry of Transportation Abuja on 1st July 2016.

BEVERLY HILLS, July 01, (THEWILL) – The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has revealed that the Federal Government was able to save $800million in its negotiation with China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) on the Lagos to Calabar coastal rail project.

Speaking in Abuja, during the signing of an agreement for work to commence on the project, the Minister revealed that the project, which was initially awarded during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan at the rate of $11.917billion, was renegotiated to $11.117 billion following the drop in prices of some commodities.

“This contract was awarded by the President Goodluck Jonathan regime at $11.917 billion and when we took over as the Ministry of Transportation, we negotiated with CCECC and succeeded in reducing the contract sum from $11.917 billion to $11.117 billion,” Amaechi said.

“We are able to save $800million after negotiation with CCECC and that has to do with the fact that CCECC said prices of commodities like steel and other things have come down and there was need to bring down the prices of those things.

“So, our gathering is to sign same contract but with different price and to make it legal from the initial price to the negotiated price.

“The first segment of the project, which is Calabar, Uyo, Abba and Port Harcourt and which would include all the seaports on the route will commence after discussion with China Exim Bank.

“Meanwhile, the entire contract covers Calabar, Uyo, Aba, Port Harcourt, Yenagoa, Otuoke, Ughelli, Warri, Sapele, Benin, Agbor, Asaba, Onitsha, Ore, Ijebu Ode, Sagamu and Lagos, and we believe that it will head to the Lagos Seaport to ensure that all the tracks terminate at the seaports we currently have in Nigeria.

“My expectation is that the project can be completed in two years since funding won’t be a problem. We will conclude Lagos to Ibadan in two years and conclude Calabar to Port Harcourt in two years too.

“The project signed is in the budget and we are at the point of execution. We have signed the formal contract with CCECC and once we get the blessing from China Exim Bank, we will commence construction and we are paying 15 per cent of the contract as counterpart funding”.

Commenting on the Abuja- Kaduna railway project, the Minister revealed that the government will purchase more coaches in order to accommodate passenger.

“The test run has commenced but we have to hear from the president to know when the official ceremony will take place. We are not collecting money yet because we said we will collect money from the day the President flags it off.

Story by David Oputah