By Ekaette Ibuot
“This is a new locomotive that has gone bad, even if we have the expertise to repair it and we do have this expertise, the truth is that NRC has sent engineers to fix it, but we should be worried that brand new locomotives that we bought failed. We are saying this is brand new, it shouldn’t fail by now, it should be failing after 3 to 5 years. There is a warranty and we have to call them back”
On the pace of work he said “There is a need to increase the pace of work. They were doing well, but the pace of work has slowed down. Covid is no longer an excuse, they have worked for three months, we insist, the perm sec myself chairman of NRC, and MD Railway and agreed that the tech committee should meet with them Tomorrow to ensure that they put measures that the pace of work is increased so that by d next time we come here for inspection, we will see a huge improvement. They gave covid as an excuse for cutting down the number of workers but if you wear your mask and sanitize your hands, you will reduce the risk of infection”.
The Minister Of Transportation Hon. Rotimi Amaechi says that the newly acquired Abuja to Kaduna locomotives would be returned to China due to malfunctions.
Amaechi gave the hint in Lagos at the inspection tour of Lagos-Ibadan rail line.
He regrets that the newly acquired locomotives which are still under warranty are already developing faults within a short space of time.
He said he has already ordered for the returned of the failed locomotives to its manufacturers China.
The Minister apologized to Nigeria over the inconveniences this might cause.
He commended the China Civil Engineering Construction Company CCECC for the job done so far, but task the contractors to increase their pace of work in order to meet up with the targeted date.
He said himself, the permanent secretary, chairman of NRC, and MD Railway will be meeting with the technical committee tomorrow to ensure that they put measures that will increase the pace of work before the next inspection.
On the faulty Abuja-Kaduna locomotives he said ” I will like to apologise to Nigerians over what’s happening at Abuja to kaduna line, Its worrisome in the sense that they are brand new locomotives, We may be forced to bring back our old locomotives, the locomotives are under warranty. We have called the chinese to come back for the locomotives that are bad or have failed more than two or three times and the response to that on behalf of government and on behalf of the ministry and NRC, we apologize to Nigerians and we have told NRC to either fix it or get the chinese to fix it. And if that is happening, then they should bring back the old locomotives. It may therefore affect the number of times we are able to run because we just brought those locomotives to increase passenger services”.