NRC Says Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project Delayed Over Coronavirus
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says the delay in the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project is due to the outbreak of coronavirus in China.
Work across the 10 stations along the 157 km long Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line has been skeletal since the beginning of the year.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had said the outbreak of coronavirus in China might delay the completion of the rail project.
The virus, which has become a global health challenge, is threatening the April deadline of the project handled by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC).
According to him, the Chinese government prevented some of the workers from returning to Nigeria because of the disease.
Reacting to the delay, Jerry Oche, Lagos railway district manager, said the government would not sacrifice the health of its citizens because of any project.
Oche said if the Chinese were going to come back to Nigeria and continue the project, they must be certified free of the virus.
He said though the federal government is passionate about the project, the health of Nigerians remains a priority.
“The simple question we should ask ourselves is what do we want? Do we want to be infected with the coronavirus because we want to meet the time for the completion of the project?” he asked.
“Or we prefer a situation where the Chinese takes care of themselves and get over the epidemic before coming to complete the project so that we all be safe and healthy?
“The project we are talking about is for the living people not for the dead. If the coronavirus should infect us, how do we handle that?
“If the project is going to be delayed and we are safe of this disease, I think it is better. Even, if they come and carried the virus, they won’t be able to do the work.
“It will now be double jeopardy for the country. We will be running from pillar to post to contain the spread and the work will be stopped also. Safety is still the first.”