Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Wednesday commemorated the completion of infrastructure of the first phase of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Blue line from Marina to Mile 2.
Sanwo-Olu said at the National Theatre Station that the first phase covered five Stations and a 13-kilometre stretch out of the total of 27km that is the entire Blue Line.
He said that the line would be powered by electricity to be supplied from a standalone Independent Power Plant.
“The Blue Line no doubt has had an interesting history, with many delays in the completion, which I must say were not due to a lack of enthusiasm or commitment on the part of the Lagos State Government.
“Our vision for an integrated transport system is enunciated in the Traffic
Management and Transportation pillar of our T.H.E.M.E.S agenda,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said the Transportation Strategy was a multimodal one,
bringing together the various elements of road, rail, and water, and
ensuring that they were seamlessly integrated.
The governor said the state was making history with the completion of yet another historic rail line, the first phase of the Blue Line of the LRMT.
He said that the event was, however, not the commissioning of the inaugural phase of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit, but was to commemorate the completion of the project construction.
The governor said that in the first quarter of 2023, they would put together a fitting official commissioning.
“Until then, we have an important phase of test-running to carry out, to ensure that everything is in place and in order, for the kick-off of full commercial operations”.
The Consul General of China, Consulate, Chu Maoming, commended the Lagos State Government and the Governor for supporting CCECC, the contractors, to achieve success in the rail project.
Maoming said that more than 2,000 Chinese employees were deployed to participate in the project to the completion stage.
He said that the infrastructure would improve Nigeria’s economy, promising to continue to encourage Chinese support for Nigeria.
The Chairman, CCECC, Nig. Ltd, Mr Zhang Zhichen, commended neighbouring communities for being cooperative and understanding during the construction.
He said that over the past 13 years, the company was able to overcome various challenges, and expressed the belief that the Blue line project would write a new chapter in transportation in Lagos.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, said the launch of the completion of infrastructure for the first phase of the LRMT Blue Line rail was a confirmation of the governor’s great vision for public transportation.
The Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Mrs Abimbola Akinajo, commended the governor for the substantial completion of civil infrastructure for the first phase of LRMT Blue Line rail.
Akinajo said that the Blue Line was one of the six rail lines articulated in the Lagos State Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP) which was the brainchild former Gov. Bola Tinubu.
“We reckon that this phase of the rail project would move no less than 250,000 passengers daily, while the entire line when completed would move more than 500,000 passengers,” she said.
The MD said the delivery of the first phase was a promise kept and other stages would follow suit.
“We promised that our team in LAMATA and the contractor, shall deliver this project by the last quarter of this year in order for testing and commissioning in the first week of January 2023, with a view to starting passenger operations by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
“I can boldly say we have delivered. Just as we have delivered this, we also promise to deliver the Red Line early in 2023,” Akinajo said.
She appreciated the support of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), management of National Theatre among others.