Amidst Delays and Labor Problems, Nigeria Awards New Contracts to Chinese Railway
Despite allegations that emerged on July 12 that China Civil and Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) had misrepresented the number of Nigerian engineers working on its Lagos-Ibadan railway (employing an excessive number of Chinese workers vis-a-vis what was called for in the contract) and a variety of project delays on this and other work, new awards were made to the company by the Nigerian government. On July 12, 2018, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned a 45km standard gauge rail line from Abuja Metro Station in the Nigerian capital to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, an extension of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit System that CCECC has been building since 2007 and that was opened for the first time today (July 13).
Beyond the labor disputes on the Lagos-Ibadan railway (involving the insufficient employment of Nigerians), the project has also faced delays, due to the late arrival of train coaches (per a December 2017 announcement). The Abuja metro project has also faced criticism over delays, with the joint Senate Committee on Land Transport and the Local and Foreign Debt Committee expressing concern about the company meeting the December 2018 deadline.