Insecurity Stops Rail Projects, As Foreign Contractors Stay Away from Sites – Amaechi
Ameachi calls for military assistance
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi disclosed that contractors working on some critical rail lines in parts of the country have expressed fears over their safety, following the spate of insecurity across Nigeria.
The minister, who spoke during a visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Farouk Yahaya, last week, in Abuja, called on the Nigerian Army to come to the aid of the frightened workers made up of locals and foreigners.
According to him, the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line frightened them most, he sought heavy presence of the military as the contractors planned to resume work.
“We are about to resume work on the Kano-Abuja rail line and the contractors are very scared of their safety. They want us to seek your assistance to provide security for them. The work is starting this month. We need an adequate presence of the military.
“We have Nigerians among them, and there are also Chinese. Similarly, there are Portuguese that will start work from Kano to Maradi. This same month or latest by July, we may start work on Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, that is the one that frightens us the most.
“We didn’t think we would need the involvement of the military for security for Kano-Maradi but the way it is now, we are scared that if we must work from Bauchi to Gombe to Maiduguri and Yobe, we actually need to depend on the military, or else they won’t let us work at all,” Ameachi told Yahaya.
However, he also called on the Army chief to direct personnel to vacate the military market in Oshodi to enable contractors to complete their work.
“I came to brief you on our works, especially where it relates with the Nigerian Army. The most important one is that we first had an interaction with the Army; we had to slightly invade your market in Oshodi, Lagos.