Nigerian artists perform traditional dance at the groundbreaking ceremony for the country's first rolling stock assembly plant in Kajola, Ogun state, Nigeria, Nov. 9, 2019. Chinese construction giant the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) will build a rolling stock assembly plant in Nigeria to promote the country's railway modernization project. (Xinhua/Guo Jun)
OGUN, Nigeria, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese construction giant the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) will build a rolling stock assembly plant in Nigeria to promote the country's railway modernization project.
At a groundbreaking ceremony for the plant Saturday at Kajola, a town in the southwestern state of Ogun, Nigeria's Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said it is a "historic turning point" in Nigeria's railway modernization plan.
"When completed, it is expected that the plant will produce some wagons for the Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kaduna rail line ... and to satisfy the needs of other rail operators within the West African sub-region and indeed within the African continent," said Osinbajo.
"The plant would offer an important platform for technicians, artisans, and others to gain specialized skills for the production and maintenance of rolling stocks," Osinbajo added.
Nigerian Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi said 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."
The plant would generate about 5,000 jobs, the minister added.
Li Yuan, economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, pledged to encourage Chinese companies to invest in Nigeria's manufacturing and agricultural sectors.
Li said that China's direct investment in Nigeria's manufacturing sector has grown to 3 billion U.S. dollars, creating tens of thousands of jobs for local communities.
The plant has the capacity to produce 500 wagons per year and will undertake key production processes like welding, assembly, painting, drying and testing, said Jiang Yigao, managing director of the CCECC.
"Nigeria is surely marching to greater development and the CCECC will continue to partner with Nigeria in ensuring the technological development of the country," Jiang said.