PAULETTE ORJIME- Abuja
VICE President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has launched the construction of Wagon Assembly plant for railway system in the country.
Osinbajo performed the ground breaking ceremony of the plant at the weekend in Kajola , Ogun State.
The VP noted that the railway would make a profound positive effect in both Nigerian trade and across the nation.
“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”, Osinbajo said.
The VP added, “Secondly, the citing of the plant here in Nigeria and the commitment to hiring Nigerians and Nigerian businesses affirms the President’s 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,” Osinbajo said
Earlier in his address , the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, noted that: “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.
He further said: “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 ,” Amaechi stated.
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