President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, inaugurated the first phase of the Lagos Blue Rail Line in Lagos State.
President Buhari after commissioning the project executed by the Lagos State Government took a ride from the Marina station to the National Theatre station.
The first phase of the project, which spans 13 kilometers, has five stations – Mile 2, Suru-Alaba, Orile Iganmu, National Theatre, and Marina.
Speaking at the event, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, thanked Buhari for the state visit to commission several landmark projects, noting that since 1999 the state has not enjoyed this level of support from the Federal Government.
Lagos Blue Rail Line
On the benefits of the project, Sanwo-Olu 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 favourably with other megacities around the world.
The governor hinted that he would invite President Buhari again to Lagos to commission the Red Line, which he described as a bigger rail corridor project compared to the Blue Rail Line.
“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,” he said.
On his part, the deputy governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, traced the pioneering role of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of the state, Bola Tinubu, in envisioning and laying the foundation for the project during his regime.
“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.
“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.
“Thanks to Asiwaju’s creative leadership, today, we are making history with the completion of this rail line,” Hamzat said.
Also speaking, the 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.
“It is a harmony in integration, diversity, and development,” he said.
President Buhari also witnessed the signing of the contract for the construction of the second phase of the Lagos Blue Rail Line by the Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. Abimbola Akinajo and President of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), Chen Sichang.
The President, before leaving Lagos for Dakar, Senegal, also inaugurated John Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History, after which he toured the facility.