By Charles Nwaoguji
The Nigerian Railway Corporation has said the possible delay in the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project owing to the outbreak of Coronavirus is better than jeopardising the health of Nigerians.
According to the Lagos Railway District Manager, Mr Jerry Oche, Nigerian government would not sacrifice the health of her citizens because of any project.
“The simple question we should ask ourselves is what do we want? Do we want to be infected with the Coronavirus because we want to meet the time for the completion of the project?
“Or we prefer a situation where the Chinese take care of themselves and get over the epidemics before coming to complete the project so that we all be safe and healthy?
“The project we are talking about is for the living people not for the dead. If the Coronavirus should infect us, how do we handle that?” he said.
According to him, most Chinese working with the CCECC went to China for the New Year celebration and had not returned before the outbreak of the disease in their country.
Oche said that if the Chinese were going to come back to Nigeria and continue the project, they must be certified Coronavirus free so as to protect the country.
Early the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, had disclosed to Newsmen that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in China might delay the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project.
The COVID- 19, which has become a global health challenge, is threatening the April deadline of the project being handled by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC).
The minister said the delay might not be unconnected to the fact that the bulk of the workforce handling the project were stuck in China, where the disease broke out and spread to other countries.
” The Chinese government prevented some of the workers from returning to Nigeria because of the virus,” he said.