By Malikatu Umar Shuaibu and Kehinde Akinyemi
The Federal Government is worried over the low number of Nigerian engineers employed by contractors working on federal projects especially in the north-east part of the country.The government has therefore admonished contractors handling various road projects in the country to engage more Nigerian engineers.
The Minister of State I for Power, Works and Housing Mustapha Baba Shehuri expressed government disappointment over the development during a recent official tour of road, housing and power projects in Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa,Yobe and Borno states.“I am disappointed that you employed few Nigerian engineers (on this project),” the minister who was accompanied by top federal and state officials told one of the contractors.Shehuri explained that the focus of the present administration was for the contractors to be local content oriented by employing qualified engineers and artisans that will be involved in various activities on site.Meanwhile, the government has also announced that it would minimize the number of houses to be demolished on the Lagos-Ibadan- Kano rail project to be executed in the Ogun State corridor.
The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi who disclosed this in Abeokuta during a recent working visit to the sites declared that Federal Government considered the review of the rail project and relocation of the rail station to MKO Abiola Trade Fair Complex in Abeokuta in order to save demolition of thousands of houses that are within the right of way of the rail lines and rail station to be located in Abeokuta. “The land we have acquired for the project appears to have been overtaken by the people who are building houses and then, we have made a decision to move to other location, we believe that we should relocate to a better place for business, people and passengers that is where we are going to now (MKO Abiola Trade Fair Complex),” the minister said.