Agbado – Marina rail project to gulp N100billion – Sanwo-Olu

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The governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu says the state will spend over N100 billion to construct the 37-kilometre rail mass transit red line project which flag off started last Thursday.

He disclosed this on Channels TV programme, Politics Today monitored over the weekend.

The project, is expected to traverse from Agbado to Marina, while the rail corridor will be constructed in three phases.
He said thatthe first phase (Agbado-Iddo), which will be completed in 24 months, will be sharing track with the Federal Government’s Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Project up to Ebute – Metta.
However, It will have its own dedicated track from Ebute – Metta to Oyingbo and reduce travel time from about two and a half hours to just 35 minutes. The passenger capacity of the first phase is 500,000 daily.

“There is no sub-national anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa and even in developed worlds like the USA that is doing a rail project by itself,” Sanwo-Olu said.

“We took that decision about 10 years ago and we said we wanted to be audacious, I was in that cabinet and we said we’ve never seen a rail being developed.

“No sub-national has taken up one, so it is an audacity that we have taken it up. It is like we are building 8km bridge on the highway.”

In regards to the cost of the rail project, the state governor said the funding stalled the project from coming to fruition, however, revealing that it will cost over N100 billion.

“I don’t criticise my predecessors but indeed for whatever planning or reasons, he never funded it,” he said.

“When we came back last two years, the contractor has since moved from about 55 percent to about 93 to 94 percent in terms of the physical construction of phase one.

“It is a lot of money it is well over N100 billion, to be honest with you. It is largely government funded but we have to use creative financing.

“When you are doing creative financing and you are building infrastructures that will last 20/30 years, you can’t be using short-term money.

“You need to also look for matching long-term funds so that you will be able to pay back in the life of that infrastructure. So we have some decent long-term borrowing to be able to cushion the effect of it.”

“The State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which encompasses a number of projects that are germane to achieving our vision for a Greater Lagos, is founded on imperatives that seek to increase transport choices for all users and make the transit system integrated, attractive, convenient, affordable and accessible,” he had said when he flagged off the construction last Thursday.

Sanwo-Olu assured residents of Lagos that the rail project will be fully operational in the last quarter of 2022.

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