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FG to receive 10 railway coaches from China by June

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The Federal Government
has concluded plans to receive 10 railway coaches from China in June 2019, to
reduce the congestion at the Abuja-Kaduna rail line.

The Minister of
Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this on Monday after leading
a delegation to China on inspection of the pace of work at the Chinese Railway
Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) Tangshan Company Ltd.
The 10 rail coaches
are part of the 64 coaches the government expects to receive from China.
A statement by the Director
of Press, Ministry of Transportation, Muhammad Idris, in Abuja, said that the
minister requested that 10 coaches be delivered to Nigeria latest June to
relieve the burden on the Abuja-Kaduna line as well as the Lagos-Ibadan line
which will soon be ready.
According to him,
“We need coaches by June latest. We need coaches that can carry men from one
point to another and we need a minimum of 10 coaches now out of the 64.
“I requested 10
coaches now because we need to improve on Kaduna-Abuja line. If the 10 do not
come, there is nothing I can do but it has to come because they have to
manufacture for us to use in Kaduna-Abuja and again, Lagos- Ibadan will soon be
ready. We also have to ensure that we get coaches that we can be using, pending
when they finish the construction of the 64 coaches.”
Amaechi, while
lamenting the pace of construction of the coaches, which he described as slow,
however, noted that the company needs to improve on it.
“In fact the
contract has expired, we may not have paid all the money but we paid quite a
substantial sum and therefore they should construct speedily.
“The contract was
signed in December 2017 and was supposed to expire in February 2019. The time
has expired and there is a breach of contract but we will look at what the law
says because more than one third of the money has been paid,” he said.
He pointed out that
the issue is not with CRRC but a contract between Nigeria and CCECC, adding
that it will be addressed in Nigeria.
The minister, while
at CRRC Shandong to inspect the cargo wagons being built for Nigeria, disclosed
that there was a verbal agreement with CCECC to localise the railway industry
in Nigeria which was supposed to produce 15 per cent of the coaches, locomotives
and wagons.
He said: “We had a
verbal agreement for them to produce 15 per cent of the coaches, locomotives
and wagons. They came back and said it was too expensive to establish
locomotives and coaches factory, that we can start with wagon and do 100 per
cent assembly in Nigeria for the first five years. After the first five years,
they will now build a factory that will manufacture wagons in Nigeria.
“It is not part of
the contract we signed in 2017, but I insisted that for me to sign, they must
localise it to create more jobs, reduce the expenditure of foreign exchange.
Instead of going to buy dollars, you pay the Chinese in their local currency.
“We have to go
further to ask them if we can own it, we have not talked about ownership but
what we said is, localise it. Even though they are using their profit to build
it, you can make them hand over the ownership to Nigeria. As for the assembly
plant, I intended for Zaria but they chose Kajola in Ogun State.”
Amaechi, further
directed the Managing Director, Railway to hand over land for the wagon factory
to CCECC before May 8, 2019.
Similarly, the
General Manager, CRRC Tangshan Company Ltd, Mr. Zhou Junnian, expressed
excitement over the visit of the Nigerian delegation to the CRRC and for their
Junnian revealed
that the passenger coach components are 100 per cent from China, adding that
materials for works depended on the speed of the product and the customer
He said that in the
future, CRRC would work with the CCECC to meet the high standard and quality
needed to finish the projects.
Earlier, the
Chairman CRRC Shandong, Mr. Wang Zichong, while speaking on the progress of the
Nigerian wagon design and manufacture, said that the design was completed,
and that they had been purchasing the materials and prototype manufacture
would be carried out as early as they can.
Zichong stated also
that the specification for Nigeria’s localisation workshop had been completed.
“We are preparing the fixture and equipment manufacture,” he added.
On when the
assembly plant workshop would be completed, he stated that it could be done in
six months if given the land.
(This Day)

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