The federal government has threatened to sanction the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) if it fails to stick to the construction agreement of the Kano-Kaduna and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail lines.
The Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo, alleged the CCECC has failed to provide 85 per cent of counterpart funds for the rail project.
Sambo gave the warning on Saturday while briefing journalists at the end of a tour of the Lekki Deep Seaport to ascertain the level of work done so far.
The minister said two years after the agreement, CCECC had not provided any of its 85 per cent counterpart fund for the rail project.
He explained that the agreement stipulates that CCECC is to provide 85 per cent of the project cost while the federal government provides the remaining 15 per cent.
He said, “I have given them till October 2022 to fulfill their own part of the agreement or stiff sanction would be meted out to them.
“How could it be said that two years after the agreement was signed, CCECC is yet to provide a dollar?”
Recall that former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had in March said, “The pace is extremely slow, the equipment are supposed to be 2,000 plus, but what they (CCECC) have brought so far is 541, they claim that 300 and something equipment are in Kaduna. I will send people to check. Even if you add that all together, you will have 800 and something equipment in place of 2,000 equipment that they are supposed to bring. That means something is wrong somewhere.
“I know they (CCECC) claim that there is no money, that we have not funded them. But what of their responsibility in the contract that they will look for the money?
“CCECC has not brought money, the Chinese are no longer giving us money for more than three to four years now. So CCECC can’t afford to delay in their responsibility to look for money for the project. That is what the Chinese must do.”