The House of Representatives committee on Land Transport has expressed satisfaction with the N2.4 billion rail rehabilitation project in the North Central part of the country.
Dr Sokonte Davies, the Committee’s Chairman, who led other members on Friday to inspect the projects which cover Benue, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Plateau states as part of their oversight function, described the work as ``impressive”.
``The contractors are on site carrying out the work and that is encouraging. We have observed some few areas that need to be addressed and they (contractors) have noted it.
``They have also assured us that some materials they imported would arrive in the next 10 days and we believe that will speed up the pace of the work.
``We hope that when next we come to inspect the project, the job would have been completed.’’
The law maker said that Nigerians were eagerly waiting to see the railways back on the tracks again, noting that an efficient railway system would transform the transportation system and ease the pressure on the roads.
``The trains help to transport heavy goods from hinterlands to various places at minimal cost, compared to road transport and we hope the issue of transportation would be easier to handle when the project is completed.’’
Davies said the huge amount of money which the Federal Government invested in the rail rehabilitation was a clear testimony of the importance the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration attached to the project.
According to him, the money being put into the rehabilitation of rail lines across the country is more than that of any other rehabilitation project being carried out in other sub-sectors.
Mr Nurudeen Ajayi, the project engineer, had told the committee that CGGC, the company handling the project, had ordered for the equipment from China for the laying of the tracks.
``The delay in the arrival of the materials is a setback for the company as we are yet to reach 50 per cent after six months of the one-year contract.
``But, we hope that the work would speed up as soon as the equipment arrive.’’
NAN reports that Mr Seyi Sijuwade, the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, accompanied the committee members on the inspection tour of the project sites.