The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that four new rail lines would be unveiled in the state before the end of the year.
Sanwo-Olu, who was the guest on a Channels television programme, ‘Sunday Politics’, yesterday evening, said his administration was, however, still conducting feasibility studies on the viability of the new rail lines.
The governor, who used the opportunity to reel out his achievements, said the state government was single-handedly financing the rail transportation system, though with the aid of a few local banks.
He said, “We have four other lines that we are doing an extensive feasibility study on. We have committed huge resources to the viability and they should be ready before the end of the year. We are the only sub-national doing a rail by itself. We are being very creative in our financing. We have single digits from Nigerian local banks.”
The governor assured residents that work had progressed on the blue and red rail lines in Lagos. He explained that the blue line would be launched first in December this year, after which the red rail line would be launched in the first quarter of 2023.
He said, “All of the infrastructures would be ready. The difference is that the red line was conceived within our tenure. We inherited the blue line and we have done a lot of development on it. The phase one of it would start from Mile 2 to Marina. Phase two is from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko.”
Sanwo-Olu said the second phase of the blue line was at the ground level and quicker for the government to lay the tracks. He also revealed that the red line would stretch from Agbado to Ebute Meta, while the phase two of it would be over the lagoon to Marina at some time in the future.
A statement released yesterday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Gboyega Akosile, described the red line as reaching “completion stage.”
Akosile quoted Sanwo-Olu to have said, “As we have seen, all the stations inspected are at the roof level, moving into the completion stage. The civil work has been completed, it’s just the finishing job we are doing at the moment.
“All the activities are on schedule and we are hoping the entire project will be completed by the end of the year. There are places that were particularly challenging for the contractor to do drilling due to high vehicular density. All the challenges have been overcome; what is left is concrete in-situ and placing of precast beams.”
The statement also quoted the governor to have said that the construction work on the overpasses were at different stages of completion, but with an assurance that all the work would be done by December.
Sanwo-Olu said the railway systems would be fenced from external attack and other vehicles obstructing their passage. He also stated that cameras and security men would be engaged to survey the rail infrastructure.
He said, “The entire rail track will be fenced up. We are building bridges and insulating them from possible attacks from people and even vehicles. We have done bridges at Ikeja along, Yaba and the old Apapa road. The blue line has been walled off completely. Once we have security monitoring, we can forestall attacks.
“We have the best professionals on our team and we have a team of policemen on the railway to ensure there are no hoodlums on that corridor.”
Sanwo-Olu used the avenue to encourage the residents to use the train as no harm can come to them since the essence of it is to reduce two-hour commute to 25 minutes within the safety of the city.
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