By Favour Nnabugwu
Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed, has given Chinese construction firm, CCECC, the go ahead to source for $500million loan in their country to finance Abuja light rail project which is being delayed by lack of funds.
CCECC’s Project Manager, Engr. Charles Chang, lamented that lack of fund was the cause of the major delay in completing the project, stressing, however, that his firm was committed to the job.
Chang told the Minister who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Hon. Ahmed Wadada, at the project site in Abuja yesterday, that the project was very important to the government.
He explained that diplomatic processes had so far been responsible for the delay in sourcing for the $500million from his home country, adding that the firm would return to site and speed up work as soon as they got the funds.
The Chinese firm had only been able complete 26 culverts of the 96 agreed in the contract, while only 35 kilometres of 65km had already been completed.
Wadada also said the FCTA was committed to the early completion of the project, in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda.
Senator Smart Adeyemi, Senate Committee on FCT, had during a recent tour of the project site, said: “I am very satisfied with the level of progress on the sight, and hopefully, the project will take off on schedule.
“Our people have suffered in an attempt to get to work. As representatives of the people, it is our duty to ensure that we alleviate the sufferings of the poor masses and this light rail is one of the measures government is working out to address that.”
He said the committee had directed the FCT administration to revoke the licence granted six transport operators who, after collecting the licence, failed to deliver.
He said “there are competent operators that have the resources to deliver, and we think there is no reason why some people would be granted licences and they would not perform. The committee would not tolerate that type of situation and we have told the officials in charge.”