The Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu officially boarded the coach of the recently finished Lagos Blue Line and made history by traveling on the electric-powered rail for the first time. The governor rode a train from the National Theatre Station to the famous station in Marina with his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, the speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, members of the state government, journalists, and the general public. It took around ten minutes to get there. The western region of the state and Lagos Island were traversed for the first time by a rail system.
LAMATA-Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority’s construction of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) was completed with the first passenger trip. From Mile 2 to Marina, the 13-kilometer-long first segment of the completed lines has five stations. Under the direction of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, building began in 2010. Before the current administration began in 2019, there were a few delays in the previous administration. Sanwo-Olu announced the completion of the Blue Rail Line project, according to the December 2022 completion date. He could not contain his joy over the news. He claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari might now commission the train facility in January.
First government in Africa to fund and deliver a rail system was Lagos.
Improvements, according to the governor, were the result of “impactful reforms” made to the state’s transportation system commencing at the start of the fourth republic under the leadership of Bola Ahmed Tinubu. According to Sanwo-Olu, Lagos became the first sub-national government in Africa to fund and deliver a rail system from the state’s bank sheet, and he called the occasion “historic. The governor declared that as soon as the first phase of the Blue Line rail project, which spans 14 kilometers from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko, is finished and inaugurated next month, work will begin on the second phase.
He said that the dedication to building upon the achievements of previous administrations and the trailblazing vision of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is clearly demonstrated by the completion of the infrastructure for the first phase of the Lagos Blue Line train. Sanwo-Olu declared that after the official opening, passenger operations wouldn’t start until the project had undergone the required testing and the right security measures had been put in place along the train track. The governor said that the three sets of wagons that will be utilized for passenger operations had already been delivered to the state. He claimed that the finished rail system could move 250,000 passengers every day. He stated that after the second phase is finished, 500,000 workers per day would be needed to complete the project.
This goal was to bring road, rail, and waterway as one for seamless mobility.
Sanwo-Olu emphasized that the transportation plan of his government was a multimodal approach that would bring road, rail, and waterways together for seamless mobility. He claimed that his administration’s vision for an integrated transport system, as enunciated in the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda, was beginning to become a reality. The governor thanked Fashola, his predecessor, for his efforts in realizing the objective. He also expressed gratitude to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s management for allowing Lagos access to its differentiated cash reserves, which were distributed through three financial institutions that came up with an inventive financing scheme for the Blue Line project: Access Bank, Sterling Bank, and Fidelity Bank.
According to LAMATA Managing Director Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, was “amazing,” opening a new chapter for Lagos. She emphasized that the completion of the rail infrastructure was a manifestation of the Governor’s bold thinking and that it showed how important traffic control and the provision of an integrated transportation system for the state were to the Sanwo-Olu administration. One of the six rail lines mentioned in the State’s Strategic Transportation Master Plan, according to Akinajo, the Blue Line was built using funds from the State’s own generated revenue (IGR). She claimed that there has never been anything like this in the global history of train building.
These developments show the governor’s passion to change the transportation.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, attested to the governor’s drive to alter the State’s transportation narrative and ensure quick mobility in Lagos. The Commissioner said that the train project would increase transportation efficiency and unleash greater economic prosperity for the state. Because you are a guy of integrity and your word, Lagosians now trust you and the dedication you showed to see that this infrastructure was finished and became a reality, Mr. Governor, will be remembered, Oladeinde stated. The project was completed with standard and quality, according to Mr. Zhang Zhichen, chairman of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), who also noted that the Blue Line’s completion would open a new chapter for public transit in Lagos. Sanwo-Olu has stated that the 37 km fourth Mainland Bridge project’s selected bidder/contractor will be revealed before the year’s end.
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