60 Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project Workers Infected With COVID-19 – FG
Federal Government has put on hold opening of the Lagos-Ibadan railway, after about 60 workers of the construction company that handled the project tested positive for coronavirus.
To ensure the contractors meet the January target for the opening of the project, which is about 90 per cent completed, government had asked the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) to increase the number of workers.
Minister for Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, who disclosed this during a television interview, yesterday, in Abuja said;
First, let us admit that over 60 of our staff, not ministry of transport staff, but the staff working on the rail project, have been infected with COVID. Luckily, nobody has died and I pray nobody will die, but you can see the kind of sacrifice everybody is making to get the rail to function.
He disclosed that the plan was to open the rail project in the first week of January, unfortunately the contractor had to stop work due to upsurge in the number of workers who had been infected with the virus.
There are people sacrificing their lives to get to that point. We are of the view when we made that decision that Nigerians will not say 2020 was a bad year.
As far as we are concerned, we need to learn how to live with COVID-19 and I really want to congratulate those who achieved that feat.
The minister said the railway project would have been inaugurated in the first week of this month if not for the upsurge in the second COVID-19 wave.
Amaechi expressed that it was important to reschedule the proposed January 2021 inauguration date for the facility even though no life has been lost.
He noted that the inauguration of the project would be dependent on how the pandemic was controlled in Nigeria, adding that government would not give room for further spread of the virus.
The minister threatened to stop train services on all routes if passengers refuse to adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
We will allow the train to run, but if we see that we are conveying passengers who have COVID from Lagos to Ibadan, we will stop it, just as we are threatening to stop services on Kaduna-Abuja route if people don’t comply with the COVID-19 protocol.