Contractors allay communities’ fears on Lagos-Ibadan rail line

THE contractors executing the 156-kilometre standard gauge rail Lagos-Ibadan railway line have assured communities along the route that their fears about welfare and primary infrastructure will be addressed before the handover of the project to the Federal Government after completion.

A statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by the media adviser to the contractors, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC),

Dr Eshemokha Maho said the issues raised by the communities were paramount to the contractors, promising that they will, therefore, be dealt with appropriately.

The statement noted that the clarification became necessary following recent agitation by some communities along the rail corridor over an overhead bridge and a flooded link road.

Naming Laderin and Alagada, in particular, where protests recently took place over the contractors’ activities and the perceived lack of a plan for the inhabitants of the areas, the statement assured that the company was committed to the development of the areas.

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The two communities are on the Ogun axis of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line.

Recall that while the protesters in Laderin demanded that CCECC should construct an overhead bridge across the rail line to connect villages in the area to the main road, those in Alagada agitated for the reconstruction of the link road in the community, which has been rendered unpassable as a result of flooding.

The statement noted that although the construction of an overhead bridge in Laderin was not captured as part of the rail project, CCECC as company conscious of its corporate responsibility, was committed to the development of local communities in all areas of its operations and had long put machineries in place towards addressing the complaint of the community.

The statement added: “We are working based on designs given to us by the contracting authority. As you know, we cannot go outside the design, without appropriate approvals.

“it would be going outside the scope of the project and we could be sanctioned.

“However we have long taken note of the concern of the community and have taken it into consideration and are working with relevant government officials to ensure that the issues raised by the community are appropriately channelled and addressed.”

The statement noted the issue of a link road which the Lasada community also complained about, assuring that CCECC was a company built on integrity.

It added: “It is true that we promised to fix the road. if you go there now, work on the road is in progress and it would be delivered soon. I can assure you that the road would be better than it was before. There was no need for any agitation in the first place because when we promise, we deliver. CCECC is a company that values its reputation and integrity.”

While assuring that the company was working towards addressing all their demands, the statement appealed to the communities living along the railway corridor to maintain the peace and cooperate with CCECC to ensure that the project is delivered on schedule.