CCECC designs for Abuja light rail very poor – Wike

THE MINISTER of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Nyesom Wike, has expressed dissatisfaction with the designs for the Abuja Metro Rail by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

He described the designs as very poor and unacceptable.

This was contained in a statement released by the Director of Press, Office of the FCT Minister Anthony Ogunleye on Thursday, January 11.

Wike stated that those responsible for approving the designs did not consider the interest of Nigerians, noting the designs would not be accepted in other parts of the world, including China.

“From what I have seen, the designs are very poor. Whoever may have approved the designs is unfair to Nigerians. I’ve told CCECC that this kind of design is not even acceptable in their own country, and if I had known before now, I would not have promised Mr. President that it would be ready,” Wike said.

He made the observations during a visit to the Abuja metro stations at the Central Business District and Kukwaba II.

Wike expressed dissatisfaction with the absence of central cooling systems and the design of the access road to the Kukwaba station, which he described as poor.

He also condemned the theft and vandalisation of rail infrastructure despite the award of a contract to provide security within the area, attributing the criminal activities to the absence of perimeter fencing around the station.

“When we visited the metro station, I discovered that there are issues of security lapses, and I remember when I came for the first time after our inauguration, I did say that they have to work on the issue of security by putting on the fence around the metro station to ward off criminals.

“Unfortunately, that has not been done. To my surprise, I discovered that the contract was not even awarded to CCECC. It’s a different contract that was awarded by the FCT, and this is my first time hearing that we are going to take it up immediately to see that it is put in place because you can’t talk about the operation when you have not addressed the issue of security,” he said.



    The Minister, however, noted that the goal to complete the project by May 2024 would still be reached.

    There have been concerns in the past over the work being done by the CCECC on rail projects in other parts of the country.

    In September 2023, Minister of Transportation Sai’du Alkali said he was disappointed at the poor performance of the CCECC on the Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri narrow gauge rail project.

    He also condemned the firm’s use of manual alignment processes in laying the railway tracks.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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