…Promises to Complete Blue Line Rail
In line with its THEMES agenda, which has Traffic Management and Transportation as key components, the Lagos State Government has restated its commitment to deliver a reliable, efficient, safe and effective intermodal transport system that will enhance mass movement of people through the expansion of BRT routes and completion of rail and water transportation infrastructure in the state.
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Oolu disclosed this on Thursday while delivering his keynote address at the fourth Lagos Traffic Radio Lecture Series held at the Radio Lagos/Eko FM Multi-purpose Hall, Agidingbi-Ikeja with the theme, “Lagos Beyond Roads: The Intermodal Transport Option”.
The Governor, who was represented at the event by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, reiterated the state government’s commitment to fund the completion of the 27.1km Blue Rail line from Okokomaiko to Marina, adding that the state is already partnering with the Federal Government through the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) on sharing the alignment of the Lagos-Ibadan project which substantially falls on the same alignment with the Red Line.
Speaking further, he stated that the state government would open up the space for the participation of investors and stakeholders, both local and international in order to actualize the Red Line which is a 31km line from Agbado to Marina and a 6km spur from Oshodi to Muritala Muhammed Airport.
According to the Governor, the federal government would build stations at Agbado, Agege and Ebute Meta, while the Lagos State Government will build that of Iju, Mushin, Oshodi, Ikeja, Yaba and Oyingbo.
He noted that the current traffic situation in the state indicates that 95% of transportation is done by road and hence the need to reduce the number of cars on the road by providing alternative options with the rail and water transportation system that is efficient and safe for Lagosians and visitors alike.
Speaking further, Governor Sanwo-Olu disclosed that his administration has, in the last few weeks, had promising discussions with various groups of investors who had expressed their intention to invest in the water transportation sub-sector.
Sanwo-Olu averred that as the state government sustains its current advocacy on the need for compliance with traffic rules and regulations in the state, it will embark on the completion of ongoing critical road infrastructure projects and initiate new ones as the rains subside.
He added that the palliative work been executed by the Lagos State Public Works Corporation which involves covering of potholes is to alleviate the pains being experienced and reduce the Man-Hour being lost every day in the process of commuting from one point to another.
The Governor restated the determination of the present administration to reduce traffic time along the Ikoyi-Lekki and Victoria Island axis, adding that “traffic study is ongoing on Lekki-Ikoyi link-bridge and Lekki-Epe expressway which will assist our decision on electronic payments at the two plazas before the end of the year”.
Earlier, the lead speaker and former Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, stated that successive administrations in the state have done a lot of intermodal transport system but there is the need for more to be done. He noted that during the administration of Alhaji Lateef Jakande under which the Late Alhaji (Dr.) Muftau Hamzat was the Commissioner for Transportation, the ferry system was functional and Lagos Metroline was conceived.
Fashola stated that traffic in Lagos is a blessing and a burden at the same time, stressing that “As a cosmopolitan city, traffic is inevitable and a blessing because it brings about employment such as licensing, parking and ticketing”.
He, therefore, called on the state government, apart from the palliative work/resurfacing presently been done on some roads, to focus on rehabilitation of roads in the central spine of Lagos. These he explained, 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.
In addition, he suggested that the state government need to ensure that it increases transport education among citizens in the state as he charged the Lagos Traffic Radio to come up with educational programmes to educate Lagos road users and that the State Ministry of Education should also develop a curriculum to ease road transportation in the state.