Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the ongoing Wagon Assembly Plant in Kajola, Ogun state, will employ about 5,000 Nigerians directly and indirectly.
The project which was commissioned by Prof Osinbajo on Sunday, is a private investment undertaken by CCECC and is aimed at the production of rolling stock spare parts and maintenance equipment needed for the railway modernization programme of the Federal Government.
Prof Osinbajo described the ground-breaking ceremony as a historic turning point owing to the significance of the railway as an alternative and comfortable mode of travel and holds the master key to transforming commerce in Nigeria.
“By linking our ports to rail lines and now, building the rolling stock locally, import and export business within and out of Africa’s largest market will be completely transformed. When completed, it is expected that the plant would produce some parts of the wagons for the Lagos – Ibadan, and Abuja – Kaduna rail lines, but also for the central rail lines and to satisfy the needs of other rail operators within the West-African sub-region.
“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.”
He told CCECC that President Muhammadu Buhari is hopeful that the project will speedily move to the next phase, which is the assembly and construction of coaches and locomotives.
“I have a message also for you from the President and this is to CCECC which is that we expect that you move on very quickly to the next phase of this project which is the assembly and construction of coaches and locomotives.
“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,” he added.
He thanked the host community for showing support to the government while urging them to effectively cooperate with the contractors in safeguarding and protecting the investments.