The minister of Transportation, Alhaji Mua’zu Jaji Sambo has said, the Rail Wagon Assembly Plant will be commissioned next week, three years after the establishment of Kajola railway open and covered wagon assembly plant to produce Standard gauge rolling stocks for rail transit, by vice-president, Yemi Osinbajo.

Speaking after an official visit to the assembly plant at Kajola in Ogun state, Alex Ekwueme Control Centre in Lagos as well as train ride from Lagos to Ibadan and back, Sambo added that, apart from reducing the foreign exchange required to import fully built-up wagons into the country, the assembly plant will enhance technology transfer and create job opportunities for many Nigerians.

He noted that, activities of passengers and staff at the Mobolaji Johnson terminal, Lagos and movement of trains on the standard gauge railway line from Lagos to Ibadan can be monitored and regulated respectively from the control center.

Managing director of the corporation, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, who conducted the minister round the assembly plant and control centre, pointed out that, once a train is programmed to stop, it can only stop at designated railway stations.

He explained further that the centre will soon be connected to the Abuja-Kaduna and Warri-Itakpe standard gauge railway line for proper monitoring of activities and regulation of train movement at both railway corridors.

Recall that in November 2019, vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, at the ground breaking ceremony, said, the Rail Wagon Assembly Plant construction in Nigeria will generate about 5,000 direct and indirect jobs when completed and boost socio-economic activities.

He had said: “the plant which is a private investment to be undertaken by Messers CCECC is central in the production of rolling stock, spare parts and maintenance of equipment needed for the railway modernisation programme being implemented by this administration.

“This ceremony is not just another event, it is a historic turning point. For us, the railway is not only an alternative and comfortable mode of travel.

“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.”