The contract for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri rail tracks has been canceled and set to be re-awarded.
This is even as the minister of transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has insisted that local contractors must develop their capacity before they can be awarded rail contracts.
The minister, while explaining why the contracts were canceled and ordered to be re-awarded, said the quest for local contractors to be used is not feasible, as most of them do not have the prerequisites capacity for the job.
Speaking at the weekend Amaechi said: “It is good for us to buy and equip ourselves with made in Nigeria goods, by so doing, it will support Nigerian producers, that’s the only way our economy will become productive.
“I am among those who will want to support Nigerian engineers and contractors, we have tried it in the consulting engineers’ sector, we asked for five years’ experience and they take photographs of other people’s work and attached it, so they are not qualified,” he stated.
The minister also said going by the requirements of companies that have acquired experience in consultancy over the past five years, “Only TEAM will qualify because the Lagos-Ibadan rail project was supervised by them.
“They also supervised the Abuja-Kaduna rail project and the Warri-Itakpe rail project TEAM also supervised, so they are the only company that must have done five years.
“Or you want me to bring in a Nigerian company when the train derails and 50 people die, you start calling Amaechi?”
The minister further explained that “for me, I will love to get in Nigerians but they must be qualified, they must meet the requirements as approved by the Directorate of Railways.”