As part of efforts to boost the ongoing railway modernisation programme of the federal government, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday, inaugurated the Wagon Assembly Plant at Kajola in Ifo council area of Ogun state.
In his address, VP Osinbajo said the development followed an agreement both Nigeria federal government and the Chinese rail contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC); signed in March 2018 for the establishment of the wagon assembly plant.
According to the VP, the plant will subsequently produce rolling stock, wagon, spare parts; and maintenance equipment required for the various railway projects of the FG across the country.
“This project will serve as a catalyst for national economic growth and development; as enshrined in federal government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
“The citing of the plant here in Nigeria and the commitment to hiring Nigerians; and Nigerian businesses affirms the president’s directive on executive order 5.
The executive order is based on priotising Nigerians and Nigerian businesses in the production; and procurement of engineering projects and services.
He noted that, “The plant will offer an important platform for technicians, artisans and others; to gain specialised skills for the production and maintenance of rolling stock.
“This will spin up businesses across the country wherever rail networks are in existence”.
Osinbajo noted that the railway system had gone beyond an alternative and comfortable mode of travelling; noting that, “It holds the master key to transforming commerce in Nigeria and across the African continent”.
The Vice President, therefore, urged the management of the CCECC to move on quickly to the next phase of the project; which according to him, is the construction and assembling coaches and locomotives.
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, in his remarks; reiterated the federal government’s commitment to transformation of the nation’s rail system.
He said that the Kajola wagon assembly plant was the first of its kind in Nigeria.
The state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who addressed newsmen after the ceremony; commended President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for the project.
He said the project would enhance the capacity of Ogun as the gateway state to connect other places; including Lagos and Ibadan cheaper and more efficiently.
Abiodun assured that the state and its people; would collaborate with the federal government to ensure the success of the project.