By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, commissioned Kajola Wagon Assembly Plant in Ogun State.
The wagon assembly plant, which has been completed, has a locomotive and rolling deport.
It has the capacity to produce 500 wagons per year of open wagons, container flat wagons and box wagons.
“Out of 368 various types of wagons needed and awarded to Messrs CCECC (China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation), about 220 wagons of the existing rolling stock procurement contract are to be produced at the Kajola plant pending when the plant would be transformed to full wagon manufacturing plant,” Buhari explained.
He said the establishment of the Kajola Assembly Plant was a Corporate Social Responsibility by Messrs CCECC Nigeria Limited in the Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernization Project – being a section of the Lagos-Kano Railway Modernization Project.
The President pointed out that with his approval, the Ministry of Transportation signed an Agreement in March, 2018 with Messrs. CCECC as Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) by the company in compliance with the Presidential Order No. 5 to promote companies’ involvement in infrastructure development and transfer of technology to Nigeria.
“Expectedly, the Federal Government is to facilitate the establishment of the plant by providing enabling environment and necessary support in terms of Tax Waivers, Utilities (Power and Water Supply), Access Road and Rail Sidings etc. This responsibility was carried out meticulously by the Nigerian Government,” the President stated.
The ground breaking ceremony of the Wagon Assembly Plant was performed by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo GCON, on November 8, 2019 as part of the effort of the Federal Government in the promotion and development of local capacity in Assembling and Manufacturing of Rolling Stock, as well as a means to generate employment and boost economic opportunities for the citizenry.
Buhari highlighted other advantages of setting up the plant, stressing that it is the potential to be provided by the on-going rail projects in the country and Sub-African Region which will generate significant demand for Nigeria’s Rolling Stock.
“Havingg said that, I am glad to announce to you that we are here to commission the completed Kajola Assembly Plant here in Ogun State and to further inform you that the first set of Wagons assembled here in Nigeria is being rolled out for further deployment for freight services.
“Withh the milestone achieved, we are seriously working to open the first University of Transportation in Daura, Katsina State. The intension of this University is to ensure adequate turn out of graduates, technicians, artisans, researchers on different areas of transportation especially railway transportation to guarantee the sustainability of the massive infrastructural provision of this administration on rail transportation.
“We therefore, expect that very soon graduands of the University of Transportation Daura and returnees from various Universities in China that were awarded scholarships by Messrs. CCECC will occupy their pride of place in the Kajola Assembly Plant,” the President elaborated.