EYEAFRICA TV: Kajola, Ogun, Nigeria: A Chinese construction giant the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) is funding Nigeria’s first wagon assembly plant which was launched on Saturday at Kajola, a town in the southwestern state of Ogun, to promote the country’s railway modernization project.
The plant has a capacity to produce 500 wagons a year and will undertake key production processes according to Chinese standards. When completed, the plant would generate about 5,000 jobs, and would train a large number of rolling stock assembly and maintenance personnel for Nigeria.
China’s investment in Nigeria grew by 27 percent in 2016, and increased to 33 percent in 2017. China has already financed over $22 billion worth of projects in Nigeria, and China’s total investment in Nigeria has climbed to $15 billion.
Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the plant would offer an important platform for technicians, artisans, and others to gain specialized skills for the production and maintenance of rolling stocks, as it is a “historic turning point” in Nigeria’s railway modernization plan.
The assembly plant would be the first of its kind in Nigeria, and it was to meet the increasing demands of both passenger and freight on the new Nigerian standard gauge railway service.
China and African countries have complementary advantages in labor, natural resources, industrial structure, finance and technology.
Transformation from agrarian-based to industrialized economies and eventually becoming high income post-industrialized economies are the central objectives of African economies.
The manufacturing industry, undoubtedly, is the main engine that drives industrialization and the attendant economic growth. For instance, developed economies like Germany, Japan, United States, United Kingdom and France were built through uncompromising investment agendas that sought measurable returns on investment (ROI) across all economic sectors.
“This rolling stock assembly plant is a very rewarding attempt we made in Nigeria. Most of the components are likely produced in China and assembled in Nigeria. In the future, we will consider gradually increasing Nigerian component and production to create more jobs and boost development,” said Jiang Yigao, managing director of the CCECC.
It is expected to be put into use in November 2020. When completed, the plant will produce mainly wagons at the beginning and to satisfy the needs of other rail operators within the West African sub-region and indeed within the African continent in the future.