Ghana’s minister for railway development, Joe Ghartey, has commendably eulogised the Nigeria’s minister for transport, Rotimi Amaechi for his hardworking after the duo went to inspect railway projects and facilities from Lagos to Ibadan.
Ghartey, who was in Nigeria alongside some parliament members from his home country, admitted that even though he works hard, Nigeria’s Amaechi works even harder, and this was evident with the level of work that has been completed within a short period of time.
Speaking with Legit.ng on a train ride from Lagos to project sites in the neighbouring states, the Ghanaian minister confirmed that the Chinese consultants described the former Rivers state governor as a workaholic.
He said: “The work that has been done here so far is very impressive. I am happy for Nigeria, at the same time, I’m also happy for Ghana. Nigerian and Ghana are intertwined and so far, what Nigeria has done is impressive.
“In Ghana, we have the old narrow gauge which we are trying to upgrade to a new standard gauge. Nigeria is a little ahead of us in terms of development but Ghana is also catching up.''
Asked what he has learnt from his visit to Nigeria, he said: “I’m really impressed with the minister’s hands on approach. I work hard, but he works very hard. The Chinese consultants and contractors have said to me that the minister pushed them.
“He pushed them to achieve what they didn’t think they could achieve. What they’ve done is what they themselves thought they couldn’t do.
“I think that it’s all about the leadership, because the minister works alongside the presidency. I’m happy that our African leaders are reaching the point where they realise that transportation is one of the keys to economic development.”
In his remarks during the train ride, Amaechi revealed plans by the federal government to ensure that the new standard gauge is accessible for all Nigerians even though the fares are yet to be decided.
He said: “The Ghanaian minister is here to see what we’ve done and probably supervise us. We will go back to them and see what they’ve done too.
''The key thing is the bi-lateral relationship between both countries, and if we partner well, we will enjoy the benefits together because it’s a bit intertwined.''
He also explained how the layman will enjoy this newly-improved standard gauge, saying: “We have not fixed the price, how much we want people to pay; from Lagos-Abeokuta or from Lagos-Ibadan, but it will certainly be cheaper than the roads.
“We have so far maintained the Abuja-Kaduna project, for over two years now… and people have been asking ‘is this Nigeria?’'
Ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s formation of new cabinet members for his second term in office, Legit.ng correspondent also asked the transport minister if he would gladly retain his office and he was quite positive.
The minister said: “After God, we’re at the mercy of the president, we do whatever he says. If the president says so, I will. It’s not about enjoying work as the transport minister, it’s a directive from the president and if he says I should continue, why not?”
Senator Gbenga Ashafa, the chairman, Senate committee on land transport, was also present to witness the inspection alongside other dignitaries.
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Meanwhile, the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had received Joe Ghartey, his Ghanaian counterpart in charge of railways development, who was on a visit to Nigeria to inspect the federal government's construction works.
Amaechi, the former Rivers state governor, was expected to take Legit.ng correspondent alongside other journalists across the railway construction sites in Lagos to show the level of progress made by the transport ministry.
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