Mr Kashim Ali, President, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), has blamed the high cost of executing projects in Nigeria on reliance on imported raw materials.
Ali told our reporter on Monday in Abuja that the cost of executing projects would continue to increase in the country until infrastructure were put in place.
“The reason why the cost of projects is a little bit expensive in Nigeria is that most of the materials used are imported including cement.
“If you are importing cement for instance, the cost of purchase, freight, insurance, loading, demurrage and transportation from the sea port to the hinterland raise the cost.
“In the case of rail, the cost of the track is very high even at the point of purchase before talking about freight, which is costlier than purchase price,” he said
Ali urged the Federal Government to revamp and develop Ajaokuta Steel Company to reduce the cost of constructing rail tracks across the country.
He said that if Ajaokuta steel industry was revamped, it would be able to produce the entire rail tracks needed in the country and give room for adjustments, where necessary.
The COREN president told our reporter that since technology was dynamic, standard gauge was not all Nigeria could have, adding that if the tracks were produced in Nigeria, it would give room for adjustment.
“Technology is dynamic; we will not necessarily have standard gauge all over the country.
“Producing rail tracks in the country will give room for adjustment in line with advancement in technology.
“In Japan for instance, there is only one standard gauge line because it is not necessary spending so much where there is no traffic,” he said.
Ali urged the government not to construct standard gauge in on rail lines with less traffic as it would amount to waste of resources.