President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the first phase of the Lagos Blue Rail Line, taking a ride from the Marina Station to the National Theatre, Iganmu Station. According to a release by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, Buhari boarded the train alongside Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, as well as members of the Federal and State Executive Councils, legislators and China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) President Chen Sichang, among others. The first phase of the project, executed by the state government spanning 13 kilometres, has five stations – Mile 2, Suru- Alaba, Orile Iganmu, National Theatre and Marina.
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 the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) Abimbola Akinajo and Sichang. Sanwo-Olu thanked the President for the State Visit to inaugurate several projects, noting that since 1999 the state has not enjoyed this level of support from the Federal Government.
On the benefits of the project, the governor 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. Sanwo-Olu hinted that he would invite the President again to Lagos to commission the Red Line, which he described as a bigger rail corridor project compared with 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.
Hamzat traced the pioneering role of the presidential candidate of the APC Bola Tinubu in envisioning and laying the foundation for the project, as governor of Lagos State. ‘‘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,’’ he said.