The Lagos State Government has held a ceremony to mark the completion of civil infrastructure for the first phase of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit’s Blue Line.
The ceremony which was held at the National Theatre in Iganmu, where one of the Stations for the Blue Line which will run from Marina to Okokomaiko is situated, was attended by top officials of the State, financial and construction partners, including the Chinese Consul General in Lagos.
The rail line will run on electricity and a dedicated independent power plant is already being provided alongside the infrastructure.
In his remarks, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who emphasized that the event was not the unveiling of the project, stated that it was to demonstrate to the good people of Lagos that he had fulfilled his promise to deliver the first phase of the rail project before the end of this year.
He said: “The completion of the infrastructure for the first phase of the Lagos Blue Line rail is a strong testimony of our commitment to building on the legacies of past administrations, and the pioneering vision of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This milestone in the development of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) is the culmination of several impactful reforms in the transport ecosystem of Lagos, starting in 1999″
Renewing his pledge that the second phase would be completed before May 29 next year, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, LAMATA, would be test running the completed section and cautioned residents against trespassing or attempt to vandalize the electric rail tracks.
“We thank you for your patience and for bearing with us in the face of all the inconveniences thrown up by the implementation of the Light Rail network. This project is for you; ensure you safeguard it. Bear in mind that this rail system is powered by electricity; there must not be a trespass on it in any way. Crossing the tracks is no longer an option. Anyone who attempts vandalism on the track put his life at great risk. Pedestrian bridges have been provided to enable pedestrian crossings.” the Governor warned.
The Governor announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had agreed to come to Lagos to inaugurate the rail line and other iconic projects in the State in a few weeks’ time.
In a goodwill message, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Mudashiru Obasa promised that the House would continue to provide the necessary legal backing for the provision and development of more infrastructure.
On his part, the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Fredric Oladeinde described the completion of the initial phase as a confirmation of the Sanwo-Olu’s administration vision to improve the transportation sector.
While welcoming guests to the event, the Managing Director of LAMATA, Mrs Abimbola Akinajo explained that the first phase spans thirteen kilometres of the twenty-seven kilometre stretch with five stations and pointed out that a consortium of financial institution had to be put together by the current administration to provide funding for the completion of the project.
She said: “Construction of the Blue Line has been one of the most challenging projects undertaken by Lagos Government, given many hitches that had to be overcome. To get to the point of completion, we have had disturbances and delays in the relocation of submarine cables, gas pipelines and removal of shipwrecks. This made the construction of submarine pillar extremely difficult. The completion of civil infrastructure work is the manifestation of the audacious mind and courage of the Governor.”
Highlight of the ceremony was a ride on the first of the three sets of trains procured for the rail line from the National theatre station to Marina by the Governor and some of the guests at the event.