The Federal government has described railway as holing the key to Nigeria’s economic development.
The Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo made this known today while performing the ground breaking ceremony for the Wagon Assembly Plant in Kajola, Ogun State.
‘The railway is not just an alternative and comfortable mode of travel but it holds the key to transforming commerce in Nigeria and across the continent,’ he said
According to him, government is linking railways to ports, in particular the Apapa port as this will not only facilitate the efficient movement of cargoes to its destinations but will expedite import and export flow, decongest the ports and take off pressure on the roads.
Similarly, the Vice President disclosed that in a contract recently signed with China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), a mechanism is being developed to achieve a swift completion of the Ibadan Inland Dry Port as well as the Baru Inland Dry Port in Niger State. Whle the former will off take container cargoes from Lagos-Ibadan, the latter will do same on Itakpe-Abuja axis.
Furthermore, Prof. Osinbanjo noted that the citing of the plant in Nigeria, will not only promote local content but it is in tandem with the President’s directive on Executive Order 5 on prioritizing Nigerian businesses in the innovation, production and procurement if engineering products and services.
‘It forms an important platform for engineers, technicians, artisans and other professionals to gain the specialized skills required for the production and maintenance of the rolling stock,’ the VP said.
Also, speaking, the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, informed that the project which is the first in Nigeria, is capable of generating 5000 jobs, adding that the rolling stock manufactured will serve the needs of Nigeria and other African countries.
The Minister futhet noted that the beauty of the project is that it is fully funded by CCECC, thereby enabling Nigeria to conserve its scarce foreign reserves for other areas of development.
Earlier, the Managing Director, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), Mr. Jiang Yigao gave the assurance that China will partner with Nigeria to speed up its railway revolution and that the establishment of the plant underlines that commitment.
Other dignitaries present at the occasion include: The Governor of Ogun State, Mr. Dapo Abiodun, NASS Chairmen on Transportation and Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola among others.
Head, Press & PR
November 9, 2019