The rail wagon assembly plant in Nigeria is capable of serving West Africa and fulfil a major need for localisation of the sector,Nigerian Minister of Transportation,Hon Rotimi Amaechi has said.
He was speaking at the ground breaking ceremony of the plant at Kajola Nigeria ,an event that was graced by the Vice President of Nigeria,Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
The minister’s full speech is published below:
“Your Excellency would recall that on March 7, 2017 you performed the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the segment 2 of the Lagos — Kano Railway Modernization project: the Lagos — Ibadan segment with Extension to Lagos Ports Complex at Apapa which is nearing completion. This segment holds the key to the development of the economy of the nation from the commercial city of Lagos to the commercial hub of Northern Nigeria, Kano.
“To meet the increasing demand of both passenger and freight on the new Nigeria Standard Gauge Railway Service, the Federal Government awarded contract for the procurement of Rolling Stock that is, 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. It will also serve any railway service in the West-African sub-region.
“The Ministry of Transportation realizing the need of the advantage to set up this type of plant considering the potential need in view of the on-going rail projects in the country and the sub-region encourage Messrs CCECC to establish this plant. 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.
“It was in the pursuit of these objectives 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. Consequently, Messrs. CCECC conducted a feasibility study in which the choice of Kajola, Ogun State was arrived at as the suitable location for the project.
“This project is therefore 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. 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.
“The project when completed would be able to generate about 5,000 jobs and in the long run Nigeria would be able to manufacture rolling stock for Nigerian use and for other African countries. More so, we would be able to conserve our much needed foreign exchange which can be deployed to other areas of development.
“Among all these, it is cardinal to mention that the sustainability of our railway modernization projects would depend on our ability to develop local capacity to construct, maintain and manage our new railway system. It is on this note that we feel that this project is germane to the railway development in Nigeria and that Messrs. CCECC should be given every reasonable support to actualize this investment.
“Your Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, may I at this juncture express my profound gratitude to the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Vice President for their unwavering commitment and support in the execution of Railway Projects. We are indeed most honoured that His Excellency, the Vice President took time out of his very busy schedule to personally accept to perform the Ground Breaking of this laudable Project.
“I also wish to register our appreciation to the members of the National Assembly especially members of the Senate and House Committees on Land Transport for their support and physical presence at this occasion. My personal gratitude goes to the Governor of Ogun State for his support and for personally gracing the occasion. To my colleagues, other Honourable Ministers here present, I thank you all for the solidarity.
“Finally, let me appreciate other distinguish personalities here present and commend Messrs. CCECC Nigeria Limited for its effort and commitment to this project”,the minister said.