Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday at the official ground-breaking ceremony of the Wagon assembly plant in Kajola, Ogun sate, said railways hold the master key to transforming commerce in Nigeria and Africa at large.
The plant is a private investment undertaken by CCECC, a Chinese company.
According to him, after its completion, the plant would produce some parts of the wagons for the Lagos–Ibadan and Abuja–Kaduna rail lines.
“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,” he said.
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“By linking our ports to rail lines and now, building the rolling stock locally, import and export business within and out of Africa’s largest market will be completely transformed.
“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.
“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.
“Also, we are putting all mechanisms in place to achieve the swift completion of the Ibadan Inland Dry port which will off-take containers and cargoes from Apapa port through the Lagos – Ibadan rail line.”
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