A railway wagon assembly plant built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) in Kajola of Ogun State, Nigeria officially entered operation on Monday, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.
Experts noted that it is another vivid example of building the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative based on high quality to promote the industrialization of Africa, which has provided a platform for training local talents in railway wagon production and maintenance.
Nigeria's Minister of Transportation Mu'azu Jaji Sambo, the managing director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation Fidet Okhiria and representatives of CCECC in Nigeria attended the commissioning.
Sambo said during the ceremony that the assembly plant is one of the major projects of cooperation between Nigeria and China, and a milestone in the development of Nigeria's railroads, which will not only provide Nigeria with locally made railroad wagons, but also provide technical support for railroads across sub-Saharan Africa.
Okhiria noted that some of the railroad wagons previously produced on a trial basis at the assembly plant had been handed over to Nigerian Railway Corporation and had performed beyond expectations during their trial run. Nigeria is expected to end its long history of relying on overseas procurement to replace old railroad wagons.
Zhang Zhichen, executive director of CCECC in Nigeria, said that the construction of the Kajolah railway wagon assembly plant began in January 2021 and completed for trial production in November 2022. The assembly plant has used China's advanced railroad wagon manufacturing production line.
By the end of April 2023, a total of 105 wagons have been assembled in the plant, and 220 wagons are scheduled to be assembled by the end of the third quarter of 2023.