The Federal Government on Saturday said the newly commissioned Wagon Assembly Plant located at Kajola in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun state would generate 5,000 direct and indirect jobs apart from driving local capacity in the railway modernization.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo stated this today while performing the ground breaking of Wagon Assembly Plant at Kajola in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun state.
He also charged the China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC) to begin the construction of coaches and locomotives to drive its railway modernization project.
The CCECC is the contractor handling the 157-kilometer Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line which is nearing completion.
Newsmen report that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Transportation had signed an agreement with CCECC to set up the assembly plant to boost local content in the rail modernization projects nationwide.
The Vice-President who performed the ground breaking ceremony said the wagon plant when completed would produce some parts of wagon for the Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kaduna rail lines apart from serving other rail operators in the West African sub-region.
He stressed that railway is not only an alternative and comfortable mode of travel; “it holds the master key to transforming commerce in Nigeria and across the continent.”
He said, “The site of the plant in Nigeria affirms the President’s directive in Executive Order Five on prioritizing Nigerians and Nigerian businesses in the innovation, production and procurement of engineering projects and services.
“It will offer an important platform for engineers, artisans, technicians and other professionals to gain the specialised skills required for production and maintenance of rolling stocks.”
Also speaking, the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi disclosed that the wagon plant, aside generating 5,000 jobs, is a direct investment of the CCECC which would boost local capacity and conserve the foreign exchange spent on importation of wagons.
He said: “This will be the first of its kind in Nigeria and the first batch of the wagons to be assembled from the production line of this plant will form part of the rolling stock for Lagos – Ibadan and Abuja – Kaduna Railway operations. Subsequently, other rolling stock would be produced as its production capacities increase.”
In his remarks, the Managing Director of CCECC, Jiang Yigao, said the corporation would support the Federal Government in its determination to develop the railway transportation across the country.