By Dirisu Yakubu, LAGOS
To use indigenous contractors for rail projects would be signing Nigerians’ death warrants, as they are more of “commission agents”.
These were the sentiments of the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, while commenting on the use of local content for the ongoing rail projects.
According to Amaechi, indigenous contractors have failed to meet some prerequisite stipulations, such as five years’ experience in rail construction.
He said: “Most of these local contractors can be likened to ‘commission agents’ and considering them for such projects is tantamount to signing the death warrants of Nigerians.”
The Minister stated this in Lagos, while monitoring the progress of work done on the Lagos-Ibadan rail corridor about a month after its commissioning.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani; directors of the Ministry and NRC accompanied the Minister on the inspection.
Speaking on the poor remuneration and welfare package of staff members of the NRC, the Minister admitted that the corporation ranks least among other agencies under his purview.
Amaechi pledged an upward review of same as quickly as possible.