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Blue Rail Line to make Lagos most resilient megacity in Africa: Sanwo-Olu

President Muhammadu Buhari (2nd right) Moves to Board Lagos Blue Rail Line

*Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State says the newly commissioned rail project will reduce travel time, improve the quality of life of consumers, and make Lagos one of the most resilient megacities on the African continent

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday, January 24, 2023, commissioned the first phase of the landmark Lagos Blue Rail Line (from Marina to Mile 2) in Lagos State.

Buhari, alongside Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, his deputy, commissioned the project at the Marina Train Station in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria.

ConsumerConnect reports the President also witnessed the signing of a contract for the commencement of Phase 2 of the rail infrastructure project from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko.

Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and Chen Sichang, President of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) inked the fresh contract in the presence of the President.

In his address on the occasion Tuesday, Governor Sanwo-Olu commended Buhari for his support to the state, including tax breaks and waivers granted on the project.

Aside from the Blue Rail Line project, the President Monday had inaugurated the Lekki Deep Sea Port, Imota Rice Mill, and Bestaf Lubricant at MRS Holdings Company Limited all located in Lagos.

The projects are part of a series of facilities being commissioned by Buhari during a two-day visit to the state.

Lagos Governor appreciates Buhari for support on Blue Rail Line project

Following President Buhari’s commissioning of the project Tuesday in Lagos, he and other dignitaries took a ride from the Marina Station to National Theatre Station.

Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement said the President was aboard the trip with Lagos State Governor Sanwo-Olu, Deputy Governor Dr. Hamzat, and members of the Federal and State Executive Councils, members of the Federal and State Legislative Assemblies, President of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), Chen Sichang and journalists, among others.

The Presidency stated that the first phase of the project, executed by the Lagos State Government, spans 13 kilometers with five stations between Mile 2, Suru-Alaba, Orile Iganmu, National Theatre and Marina.

While thanking the President for the State Visit to commission several landmark projects in Lagos, the statement noted Sanwo-Olu recalled that since 1999, the State has not enjoyed this level of support from the Federal Government.

Socio-economic benefits of project to Nigerians

On the benefits of the project, the Governor stated that it would reduce travel time, improve the quality of life of citizens and make Lagos one of the most resilient mega-cities in Africa that would compete favorably with other megacities around the world.

Sanwo-Olu hinted that he would invite the President again to Lagos to commission the Red Line.

He described the Red Tail Line as “a bigger rail corridor project”, compared with the Blue Rail Line.

Sanwo-Olu said: ‘‘This iconic Marina Station would be the largest and busiest in Africa.

“It has the capacity to process about 450 passengers per minute, meaning that in an hour this station can process about 25,000 passengers.”

Dr. Hamzat, Lagos Deputy Governor, also traced the pioneering role of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in envisioning and laying the foundation for the project, as governor of Lagos State.

The Lagos Deputy Governor further stated: ‘‘Talking about the Blue line without making a reference to the ground-breaking contributions of the presidential candidate of our great party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is like talking about the beach without the ocean.

‘‘A visionary leader, Asiwaju Tinubu pioneered the idea of the Lagos Blue Line, and many other revolutionary initiatives.

He noted: ‘‘The Tinubu administration developed the Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP), which laid out the foundation for a network of robust and modern transport infrastructure befitting a 21st Century City-State, such as ours.

‘‘The master plan has six rail lines and one monorail, 14 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors, over 20 water routes and a number of major roads.”

Hamzat added: ‘‘Thanks to Asiwaju’s creative leadership; today, we are making history with the completion of this rail line.”

Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Cui Jianchun said the completion of the first phase of the project was a demonstration of the harmony in the bilateral relations between Nigeria and China.

The envoy stated: ‘‘It is a harmony in integration, diversity, and development.”

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