The federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to construct a light rail (Red Line) worth US $2bn amid the country’s intractable traffic congestion undermining its domestic economy.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu confirmed the reports and said that the project comes at at time when the government is also completing construction of Blue Line, a 27-kilometre rail line starting from Okokomaiko to Marina, initially projected to cost US $1.2bn.
The Red Line project
He also said the state government is already partnering the federal government on sharing the alignment on the Lagos-Ibadan project which substantially fall on same alignment with the Red Line.
The Red Line a 31-kilometre railway project will run from Agbado to Marina and a six-kilometre spur from Oshodi to the airport. According to the governor, the federal government will build stations at Agbado, Agege and Ebute Meta, while the Lagos State Government will build the Iju, Mushin; Oshodi; Ikeja; Yaba and Oyingbo.
The state government would open up the space for the participation of investors and stakeholders, both local and international in order to actualize the development
The governor pointed out that current traffic situation in the country has indicated that 95% transportation is done by road, hence the need to reduce the number of cars on the road and provide alternative options, which are rail and waterways transportation that is efficient and safe for Lagos residents and those that choose to visit Lagos.
He also called on the state government to also focus on rehabilitation of roads in the central spine of Lagos apart from the palliative work or resurfacing presently done on the state roads.
“These are clusters of roads like Lagos-Badagry Expressway; Third Mainland Bridge; Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Expressways Road, Lekki-Epe Road, Ikorodu-Mile 12- Funsho Williams Road and Agege Motor Road. If these roads move, Lagos will move. If roads in these areas are fixed, Lagos residents will have a reduction in traffic gridlock,” said Governor, Mr. Babajide.