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Nigeria expects boost in commerce with Wagon Assembly Plant in Ogun, says Osinbajo

    *At least 5000 jobs to be created- Transportation Minister, Amaechi 

Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo(left) with the Hon. Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi on occasion of the ground breaking ceremony for Wagon Assembly Plant in Kajola, Ogun State.

The Federal Government has expressed
confidence that commerce will receive a boost both in Nigeria and on the
African continent when the railway projects across the country is completed.

Vice President, Prof.  Yemi Osinbajo stated this on Saturday in
Kajola, Ogun State while
  performing the ground-breaking ceremony for a
rail wagon assembly plant.

Osinbajo said that the project would
enable the transfer of technical knowledge to engineers and some groups of
artisans, and added that at least 5000 jobs would  be created from
the project, which will engage Nigerians. 
“This ceremony is not just
another event. It is a historic turning point. For us, the railway is not just
an alternative and comfortable mode of travel, it holds the master key to
transforming commerce in Nigeria and across the continent.

The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, giving his address on Saturday at the ground-breaking ceremony for the rail wagon assembly plant in Kajola, Ogun State.

“…the citing of the plant here
in Nigeria and the commitment to hiring Nigerians and Nigerian businesses
affirms the Presidents directives in Executive Order 5 on prioritizing
Nigerians and Nigerian businesses in the innovation, production and procurement
of engineering projects and services.

“The plant would offer an
important platform for engineers, technicians, artisans and other professionals
to gain the specialized skills required for the production and maintenance of
rolling stock.

“This will invariably conduce to
spin-off businesses in the region of operation in particular and across the
country wherever rail networks are in existence. The plant is expected to
generate about five thousand (5,000) direct and indirect jobs.”

With the building locally of rolling
stock, the Vice President  said expectations were that on completion,
the plant would produce some parts of the wagons for the Lagos – Ibadan and
Abuja – Kaduna rail lines, also for the central rail lines and to satisfy the
needs of other rail operators within the West-African sub-region.

He charged the project handlers,
CCECC, to ensure the project moves quickly to the next phase, which is the
assembly and construction of coaches and locomotives, saying, “This for us will
be a significant breakthrough and we look forward to hearing from you as
quickly as possible when this will come into operation.”

In his address, the Honourable
Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, said the Federal Government had
awarded contract for the procurement of Rolling Stock including Locomotives,
Coaches, Wagons and contemporary Diesel Multiple Units to serve movement of
passengers and freight on the Abuja-Kaduna, Itakpe – Ajaokuta – Warri train
services as well as the ongoing Lagos – Ibadan Railway, in order to meet the
increasing demand of both passenger and freight on the new Nigeria Standard
Gauge Railway Service.

He disclosed that the Ministry of
Transportation encouraged the project handlers, CCECC, to establish the plant on
realizing its advantage in view of the on-going rail projects.

His words: “It is expected that the
plant would generate job opportunities for Nigerians and as well facilitate the
much-desired objective of the government towards the local content capacity

The minister said that the project is
a direct investment of Messrs. CCECC Nig. Ltd in the country and would remain
as part of the gains from the contract signed for the Supply of rolling stock.

He described the project as a “ 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.”

Amaechi identified the need for
building local capacity to construct, maintain and manage the new railway
projects as necessary for sustainability, a reason he said supported the conviction
that the project is relevant to the railway development in Nigeria, and that
Messrs. CCECC should be given every reasonable support to actualise the
investment as at least 5000 jobs would be created from the project.

He said that the Federal Ministry of
Transportation signed an agreement with Messrs. CCECC Nig. Limited in March,
2018 to establish this plant for the production and assembling of rolling
stock, spare parts and maintenance equipment in Nigeria.

The choice of Kajola for siting the
project was arrived at after a feasibility study to get the best location.

The minister thanked the Ogun State
Government and the people of Kajola community, as well as the law makers for
their support for the project.  

Efforts are also in place to drive swiftly the completion of the Ibadan Inland Dry port, which will off-take
containers and cargoes from Apapa port through the Lagos – Ibadan rail line.

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