Nigeria: Twelve years after, Lagos metro rail will become operational 2021 –Sanwo-Olu
London, Dec. 18, 2019 (AltAfrica)-A decade after inauguration, the blue line of the Lagos metro rail project will be completed in 2020 and become operational in 2021 according to a new timescale by the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. That would be twelve solid years after inauguration
The governor, who was a cabinet member when the project was launched, spoke on Tuesday while inspecting the five-kilometre- long beam bridge constructed from Iganmu to Marina, as part of the fourth phase of the project.
The project which has missed several deadlines, also saw the inaugurated the final phase of the work by the state governor
Sanwo-Olu noted that the completion of the sea-crossing track indicated his administration’s commitment towards finishing the state-funded rail contract started in 2009.
“The aim of this rail project is to reduce travel time through an effective and efficient inter-modal transport system. It is also key to the building of a 21st century economy, which is central to the vision of a greater Lagos. We are committed to delivering this project next year and ensuring its operation starts in 2021,” he added.
Sanwo-Olu noted that the construction of the blue line rail tracks was being done in “strict adherence” to the state’s strategic transport master plan, which prescribed six rail lines and one monorail for the long-term strategic goals of the state.
Apart from the blue line, the governor disclosed that his administration would be starting the construction of the red line rail project from Agbado to the Marina area of the state.
He pointed out that investors had been invited for the construction of four other rail lines under a design-build-operate- maintain-and-transfer model of public-private-partnership arrangement.
The governor added that the state government would also start the construction of eight “quality bus corridors in strategic areas of Lagos.”
Sanwo-Olu explained that the initiative was to encourage residents to change from cars to buses, thereby reducing traffic congestion.
He commended the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority and the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Company, for the progress on the project, urging them to complete the blue line in record time.
The Managing Director of LAMATA, Mrs Abimbola Akinajo, said the ceremony marked the successful completion of 85 per cent of phases one to four of the blue line.
LAMATA originally concentrated on developing a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, to run from Mile 12 to Lagos Island. In 2008, it made progress with the rail project, focusing initially on the Blue and the Red lines.
The entire rail project is designed to run through various areas of Lagos, under a seven-line network code named: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple, Brown and Orange lines.
The Blue Line, which the state has exerted more energy on, is expected to be 27km long, connecting Okokomaiko to Marina. In April 2008, the state government approved N70b for the construction of the Okokomaiko-Iddo-Marina Line, with an estimated completion date of 2011.
However, the project has suffered many delays, with the state government and the supervising agency- LAMATA, sometimes giving contradictory reasons for the delay in meeting the numerous deadlines.