Lagos Light Rail Project To Become Operational By 2012
LAGOS, Nov 28, (THEWILL) - Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) today said the state Blue Line of the on-going light rail project will be completed by 2012, saying the project has moved from being a dream and to reality at last.
Fashola spoke with journalists while inspecting the project at Iganmu in the Apapa Local Government Area, where he said with the concrete piers already going up at Iganmu and other infrastructure being put in place, there is every hope that the project will be concluded on time.
He commended China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the company handling the project, for working at a steady and high speed which guarantees prompt completion within the timeframe, assuring Lagos residents that the project would be delivered for public use by 2012.
“We have moved from vision to dreams and to reality. The project has taken off; the baby has been born, it is left for us to nurture it to adulthood. By 2012, the first seven kilometres of rail would be ready for operation,” Fashola said.
The governor said the concrete pillars being set up at Iganmu would hold the rail bed that will link the rail line to Iddo on its way to Okokomaiko.
“Five stations will also have been completed. According to the terms of the contract, the concessionaires would be supplying the coaches for full operation. There is still work to do but the important thing is that without fanfare, without celebration, the project has taken off. It is going to be the most significant project in the State,” Governor Fashola added.
Since work commenced on the project at least 2, 000 Nigerians have been employed and by next year another 1, 000 persons will also be added, according to the governor, adding that by the time the project is in full gear, no less than 8,000 people would have been employed by the company handling the project.
“This is going to be the most impactful project this state has ever had. You can only imagine the number of people that will be employed, both directly and indirectly, when the project is finished. It will reduce travel time and all the stress associated with traffic will be removed. Lagosians will travel in comfort,” Fashola said.
He explained the Blue Line now under construction “will form the corridor for the remaining six rail lines going to Agege, Alimosho, Ikorodu and other parts of the state. This is the most important of the seven rail lines that we plan to construct.” On the supply of electricity which is essential for the efficient operation of the rail system, Fashola said he project “has been designed to supply its own electricity. We spent two and half years planning this project. We sought and found the best team, those who have done it successfully in other places of the world. Life is about planning and efficient management. We planned for the worst and we are hoping for the best,” the Governor said. Speaking earlier while conducting Fashola round the project, Deputy Managing Director of CCECC and Project Manager, Mr. Shi Hongbing, said, the pre-castings for the rail bridge has reached 70 percent completion assuring that before 2012 the company would complete the rail from Mile 2 to the National Theatre. Also present at the project site were the Chinese Consul General in Lagos, Mr. Guo Kun, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Lanre Babalola, the Director General Public Private Partnership (PPP) Office, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi, Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Ganiyu Johnson, officials of CCECC and other top government functionaries.