Lagos to spend over N100bn on new rail project, says Sanwo-Olu

The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has stated that the state will spend over N100 billion to construct the 37-kilometre rail mass transit red line project.

This statement was made by the state governor when he featured on a Channels Television programme on Sunday.

The project, flagged off on Thursday, is expected to traverse from Agbado to Marina, while the rail corridor will be constructed in three phases, with a target of conveying more than one million commuters daily once completed.

“There is no sub-national anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa and even in developed worlds like the USA that is doing a rail project by itself,” Sanwo-Olu said.

“We took that decision about 10 years ago and we said we wanted to be audacious, I was in that cabinet and we said we’ve never seen a rail being developed.

“No sub-national has taken up one, so it is an audacity that we have taken it up. It is like we are building 8km bridge on the highway.”

In regards to the cost of the rail project, the state governor said the funding stalled the project from coming to fruition, however, revealing that it will cost over N100 billion.

“I don’t criticise my predecessors but indeed for whatever planning or reasons, he never funded it,” he said.

“When we came back last two years, the contractor has since moved from about 55 percent to about 93 to 94 percent in terms of the physical construction of phase one.

“It is a lot of money it is well over N100 billion, to be honest with you. It is largely government funded but we have to use creative financing.

“When you are doing creative financing and you are building infrastructures that will last 20/30 years, you can’t be using short-term money.

“You need to also look for matching long-term funds so that you will be able to pay back in the life of that infrastructure. So we have some decent long-term borrowing to be able to cushion the effect of it.”

Sanwo-Olu assured residents of Lagos that the rail project is expected to be delivered by the last quarter of 2022.

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