The Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbanjo says,Railway is the master key to transforming commerce in Nigeria and across the continent.
Professor Osinbanjo said this during the ground breaking of the Kajola railway manufacturing plant, Saturday in Ogun state.
The Vice President who applauded the Ministry of Transportation for the project said it is a historic turning point for Nigeria.
According to him: ” 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 “.
He further appreciated the host communities leadership for their support so far and urged them to cooperate more with the government to make the projects successful.
On his part, the Minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said the project is critical to the ongoing railway projects across the country and would dovetail into the use of local materials for production of wagons and coaches.
” The project would generate about 5000 jobs and in the long run, Nigeria would be able to manufacture rolling stock for Nigeria and other African countries.
” 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.
The MD CCECC in his speech said, “the concept of this Wagon Assembly Plant is to grow local technology and ultimately make Nigeria not only self-sufficient in certain components of locomotive rolling stock, but also an exporter”.
“With the completion and operation of the Abuja to Kaduna Railway, Abuja Rail Mass Transit and work on other railway projects, the plant will play a pivotal role in ensuring the provision of wagons. The socio-economic benefits of the plant cannot be overemphasized. A number of youths will be employed and it will stimulate the creation of other ancillary jobs and bring development not only to Kajola community but the South West in general”.
“The plant has the capacity to produce 500 wagons per year and will undertake key production processes like welding, assembly, painting, drying and testing. It has the capacity to produce open, container, flat, tank and box wagons. Nigeria is surely marching to greater development and CCECC will continue to partner with Nigeria in ensuring the technological development of the country’.
High point of the event was the unveiling of the plaque by the Vice President.