Nigeria: Lagos governor says first light rail project to be completed by December 2016
By Alexis Akwagyiram and Ulf Laessin
Nigeria hopes the first phase of a light railway aimed at easing traffic jams in the commercial hub Lagos will be ready within 13 months, and is inviting bidders for an expansion, Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said on Thursday.
China’s state-owned China Civil Engineering Construction Corp (CCECC) began work on the $2.5 billion scheme in 2010, hoping to open the line in 2011, but the project has suffered delays that are typical in a country plagued by graft and mismanagement.
The railway is part of efforts to ease traffic congestion in the port city, where some of the 21 million residents get up as early as 4:30 a.m. to make it into their offices by 9:30.
Lagos governor says first light rail project to be completed by December 2016
In particular, it can take as much as four hours to cross the single bridge to the Victoria Island business district in the morning, though the island will not be served directly by the new line.
Asked about a start date for the line, Ambode told Reuters: “By December 2016, that should be delivered.”
He said a tender for an expansion had been opened, and that a total of six lines were planned, to connect northern and southern Lagos.
Ambode also said Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, which has said it is committed to Africa, had held talks with officials in July about the possibility of opening stores in Lagos.
Nigeria has the continent’s biggest economy and Lagos alone has a bigger GDP than Ghana or Kenya.
“They are looking at it, exploring it. But there is nothing definitive yet,” he said. “They intend to come back.”
Wal-Mart officials were not immediately available for comment. Five years ago, Wal-Mart spent $2.4 billion on a stake in South Africa’s Massmart.
Lagos light rail’ll be completed Dec. 2016
The Blue line was initially slated for completion in 2011 but has suffered delays due to funding problems.
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, said on, November 6, 2015 that the state’s light rail project would be completed by December 2016 and would commence operation immediately.
This is coming about 6 years after the Blue Line rail project was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Company. It is a 27-kilometre (16.7 mile) line stretching from Okokomaiko to Marina.
Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA)
LAGOS RAIL MASS TRANSIT
The Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) network is a major component of the Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP) which has been developed to guide as a compass for the development of public transport infrastructures in the State. The STMP is a 30 year plan put together under series of intensive researches, studies and analyses of future transportation demands and needs of Lagos State as Nigeria’s commercial and economic hub and one of the world’s fastest growing mega cities.
The Lagos Urban Rail Network (LURN) is a network of urban rail-based systems covering seven major corridors of high commuter traffic demand within and beyond the metropolitan Lagos extending to border areas with States like Ogun and Oyo.
The Urban Rail Network consists of seven (7) railway lines planned along priority and high commuter demand corridors within the Lagos metropolis and farther. The 7 lines link the major population and activity centres in the state, as well as taking advantage, where possible, of existing transport corridors. The network is fully integrated with planned and existing water transport and BRT routes. These lines are:
Blue Line – Okokomaiko to Marina
Red Line – Agbado to Marina via Iddo and Muritala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA)
The Blue and Red Lines are priority routes, which are already at advanced stages for immediate development.