To meet increasing demands for rail travels, the federal government has awarded contracts for the procurement of more rolling stocks to close the demand gaps for both passenger and freight services.
Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, made this disclosure during an interactive session with the joint committees of the Senate and House of Representatives on Land Transport at the National Assembly, Abuja
According to her, the rolling stocks which are locomotives, coaches and wagons will serve a wide range of passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train services, the on-going Lagos-Ibadan railway project and the Itakpe-Warri rail line.
She further disclosed that the wagons would mostly be assembled in the proposed wagon assembly plant in Kajola, Ogun state which the ground breaking will be performed by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo next month.
Saraki said that “as part of the agreement to this contract and in compliance with the President’s Executive Order No 5, CCECC is to invest in the establishment of a wagon assembly plant for the assembly of railway rolling stocks in Nigeria.
“The first batch of wagons to be produced from this production line of the plant would form part of the rolling stock being procured for the Lagos – Ibadan freight train operations. Subsequently, other rolling stocks (coaches and locomotives) would be produced in the plant as its production capacity increases.”
She also disclosed that her ministry has signed a $3.9 billion engineering procurement and construction contract with the China Railway Construction Corporation International (CRCCI) which will last for 36 months.
In his speech, Chairman Senate Committee on Land Transport, Senator Abdulfatai Buhari also spoke on the need to have a vibrant and functional narrow gauge railway network in acute demand.
The committee assured the minister of its cooperation in moving the country’s rail transport sector forward.