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 development.”

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.