Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on host communities to continue to support government efforts by effectively cooperating with the contractors in safeguarding and protecting investments.
Osinbajo said this in his address at the ground breaking ceremony of Kajola Wagoner Assembly
Plant established by the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) in Ogun.
He said this would ensure that all intended objectives and mutual benefits were attained.
The Vice President says establishing a rolling stock plant in Nigeria will help transform commerce across Africa.
The term rolling stock in the rail transport industry refers to railway vehicles, including both powered and unpowered vehicles, for example locomotives, railroad cars, coaches, private railroad cars and wagons
According to him, the plant is central to the production of rolling stock needed for railway modernisation programme of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The railway is not only an alternative and comfortable mode of transportation; it holds the master key to transforming commerce in Nigeria and across the continent.
“By linking our ports to rail lines and now, building the rolling stock locally, import and export business within, into and out of Africa’s largest market will never be the same.
“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.
“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 prioritising Nigerians and Nigerian businesses in the innovation, production and procurement of engineering projects and services,” he said.
Osinbajo said the plant would offer an important platform for engineers, technicians, artisans and other professionals to gain specialised skills required for the production and maintenance of rolling stock.
He added that it would invariably conduce to spin-off businesses in the region of operation and across the country wherever rail networks are in existence.
“After completing the Abuja – Kaduna railway project in July 2016, this administration commenced construction works on the Lagos – Ibadan railway modernisation project in March 2017.
“Following which, we initiated the rehabilitation and completion of the abandoned Itakpe – Ajaokuta – Warri rail line which was started over three decades ago.
“Also, we are optimising the Lagos-Ibadan Rail modernisation project by extending it to the Apapa Port, the nation’s busiest port for the efficient movement of cargo from the port to various destinations.
“This will expedite import/export flows, decongest the ports, and depressurise our roads in the process,” Osinbajo said.
Earlier, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi said the Federal Government awarded contract for the procurement of Rolling Stock so as to address increasing demand on the new Nigeria Standard Gauge Railway Service.
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