Amaechi: For those who may not like me, I apologise

Rotimi Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi went philosophical on Saturday after inspecting ongoing construction works on the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project at the Papalanto area of Ogun Sate.

Several deadlines proposed on the completion of the project by Amaechi were not realised. 

Delivering what appeared like a valedictory speech to the contractor, journalists and members of the technical committee on the project, Amaechi said, “We held the first meeting in Lagos. For those who started with us, there were no tracks , no roads, we were just driving from one point to the other. The place was void, we had to put forms. It looked challenging because at a point nobody believed we could get to this point. For those of you who may not like me, I apologise. But in life, not everybody will like you.

“For those of you who like me, it’s part of life. But what is critical in life is that once you are given an assignment, please do everything possible to deliver it. We had confrontation here and there, we had challenges in Lagos and we were able to find solutions to it.” 

He charged the contractor and the railway technical team to “keep the good work going”, whether he remains in office as Transportation Minister.

The Project Supervisor for Team Construction Company, Loutfi Saad, said Amaechi demonstrated professional skills from the beginning of the project.

He said the minister has championed the progress the project has experienced from the laying of beams, laying of tracks which he monitored daily to ensure that there was no breach of contract.

“He had showcased his managerial trait as he fully demonstrated total commitment to the development of railway since the beginning of the inspection and meetings.

“We are hoping that you continue as the minister to complete all the rail projects you have started,” he said. 

The Project Manager of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), Xiao Lijun recalled that March 7, 2017 was the groundbreaking ceremony of the 156-kilometre Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge line by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

According to him, the minister conducted over 22 inspections of the project aside various technical meetings held with the committee to resolve challenges.