Residents of Lagos eagerly awaiting the completion of the 37-kilometer-long Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Red Line project will need to exercise patience, as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu recently announced that the project will not be open to the public until all stations are fully furnished and safety measures are in place.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, accompanied by Deputy Governor Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and members of the State Cabinet, embarked on an extensive inspection of the Red Line infrastructure this week. The inspection tour covered major stations along the rail project.
During the inspection, Governor Sanwo-Olu also evaluated retrofitting work on Talgo train coaches intended for deployment on the Red Line. The trains are undergoing preparations at the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) compound, Mobolaji Johnson Station, in Ebute Metta.
The construction of the Red Line project, initiated by the Sanwo-Olu administration, is overseen by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA). This ambitious rail project spans from Agbado to Oyingbo.
The tour commenced with a visit to Agbado, located at the boundary with Ogun State, where the governor and his team assessed the progress of the rail terminal. The terminal is situated a short distance from the Lateef Jakande Station, owned by the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).
At the Iju and Agege terminals along the Red Line, the inspection revealed completed stations with platforms and furnishings being installed in preparation for operation.
The Ikeja mega station, a pivotal point along the rail line, featured installed turnstiles, escalators, cooling systems, lighting fixtures, and other ancillary components. The only remaining tasks involved building demarcations and cleaning.
At Yaba Station, the governor was met by enthusiastic residents who joined him in inspecting the infrastructure.
Governor Sanwo-Olu expressed his satisfaction with the progress of the Red Line project and the quality of construction work. He assured Lagosians that the project would be finalized by year-end.
Additionally, Governor Sanwo-Olu directed a comprehensive cleanup of the Red Line corridor, with immediate steps taken to evacuate illegal traders and intruders along the rail tracks. Emphasizing safety measures, he asserted that the entire corridor must be walled off to prevent interference with the tracks and potential accidents.
Starting next month, the governor announced that flyovers constructed to facilitate rail crossings would provide relief for vehicular traffic. Among the completed flyovers are the Ikeja Along Flyover, the Yaba Flyover, and the Ebute Metta Flyover.
Governor Sanwo-Olu revealed that Yaba Bridge is set to open to traffic in October, with other completed flyovers along the Red Line corridor following suit in the coming months, leading up to the commissioning of the rail project.
He noted, “Before we finally launch the Red Line, we will give vehicular relief to our citizens around rail crossings. The first bridge we will possibly open for traffic is the Yaba Bridge, which will happen in October. Weeks later, we will open another bridge that has been completed and do the same for others.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also affirmed that the government remains on track with its promise to deliver two rail infrastructure projects, having already accomplished the Blue Line and commenced operations. The second phase of the Blue Line has been awarded to a contractor who has promptly initiated work on-site, with completion anticipated sooner than expected.