This is 40 years the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) opened shop in Nigeria and has not relented in adding value to the country.
It is proper to say that the CCECC has been a major partner of Nigeria and a catalyst in infrastructure development and provision.
In the past years, CCECC has completed over 100 projects and with no record of abandoning jobs.
In its workforce, the railway projects alone have employed over 20,000 Nigerians as CCECC strictly implements a policy of employing at least 80 percent of Nigerians.
After it completed the Abuja integrated urban mass transport projects which include the expansion of the international wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, the Abuja metro rail line linking the airport, the two train stations at Idu with the central business district and the Kubwa satellite town, it launched the city into full capacity modern urban transport system.
The 186km Abuja-Kaduna railway system has been in operation since 2016 while the Abuja metro service started operation in 2018, the same year the new airport terminal came into use.
Apart from the Abuja airport, CCECC had done four others in Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt.
Those projects have helped a lot in encouraging economic development in Nigeria.
Recently, it also completed the 156km Lagos-Ibadan railway line and also the 321km Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Warri railway link.
While doing all these projects, CCECC in 2018 sent about 67 young Nigerians in its employment to study railway engineering and management in China as value addition to the human capital base of Nigeria.
At Kajola, Ogun State, the CCECC set up a factory to manufacture train cars and save the country importing such components.
On the day ACE visited the Abuja airport train station, we met a team of young Nigerians that drive and maintain the metro trains. It is also the same with the Abuja-Kaduna fleet where all the drivers are Nigerians.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja in 2020 specially appreciated the CCECC for making sure the university sets up a railway engineering department. And further in its support to Nigeria, it commenced the building of the Transportation University, Daura in November 2019 which it said would be at its own cost. That is just one of the major corporate social responsibility projects of CCECC outside schools and water boreholes.
Every year, the CCECC has a policy of employing young Nigerian graduates and this has been on in the past five years.
In a special documentation project for the company by the Afri-China Media Centre in 2020, the Managing Director, Mr. Michael Jiang had explained that:
“The fulcrum of the CCECC culture in projects execution is the adaptation of technology for the future and friendship.
When the coronavirus hit the whole world, in addition to donating medical supplies and cash to groups and the government, the CCECC in April 2020, on its bill flew in 15 medical experts into Nigeria to assist in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
Seeing herself as a citizen and part of Nigeria after many years of partnership here, Jiang, said:
“Our company is not in Nigeria to play business and go. We are here to lay a foundation for stronger and better friendship between Nigeria and China. We are here to make a statement of the uniqueness of our quality and depth of expertise. We are here also to build the base for Nigeria’s technology growth in civil engineering and all our areas of operation. Therefore, we take Nigerian experts along. We don’t leave them behind while we operate.
We have been sourcing our raw materials mainly from Nigeria, reason we have our steel fabrication plant within the Idu Yard where we make the steel components of our requirements. We have another factory where we produce the rail track sleepers and other materials. We procure the granite from the quarries of Abuja and this is a large percentage of our raw materials pool. All these sub segments also employ Nigerians.
Moreover, as the Chinese experts build the tracks, service and maintain the trains, execute our airport project, they do that side by side the Nigerian counterparts with a deliberate intention that they take over the core of the projects some day and do that with Chinese experts.
“We have discovered very competent local hands in engineering and artisanship over the years, a target we had from the beginning because experience has shown us that Nigeria has very smart, hardworking and intelligent people, one of the reasons we feel so much at home working with them as part of us.”