The Lagos-Ibadan rail project

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) said on Saturday the possible delay in the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project due to the outbreak of coronavirus is better than jeopardizing the health of Nigerians.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, had said on Thursday the outbreak of coronavirus in China might delay the completion of the rail project.

The COVID- 19, which has become a global health challenge, is threatening the April completion of the project handled by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC).

Reacting on the minister’s claim, the Lagos Railway District Manager, Jerry Oche, told journalists the Nigerian government would not sacrifice the health of her citizens because of any project.

He said: “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?

“Or we prefer a situation where the Chinese take care of themselves and get over the epidemics 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?”

Oche said most of the Chinese working with the CCECC went to China for the New Year celebration holidays and had not returned before the outbreak of the disease in their country.

According to him, if the Chinese were going to come back to Nigeria and continue the project, they must be certified coronavirus free so as to protect the country.

“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,” he added. (NAN)



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