LAGOS State’s proposed urban railway network that has been in the pipeline since 2009 is now expected to become functional in October 2022 when the Red Line connecting Agbado and Agege with Marina is expected to open.
In 2009, the then Governor Babatunde Fashola commissioned the Lagos Rail Mass Transit programme with a mandate to build two urban lines that would ease congestion in the metropolis. Some 11 years on, the 35km light railway project, which globally would take around four years to finish, has not been completed to the exasperation of Lagosians.
Governor Fashola, who is now Nigeria’s minister of works, left office in 2015, by which time the rail project was expected to have been completed. Responding to queries about this inexplicable delay, Abimbola Akinajo, the managing director of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (Lamata), said the Red Rail Line will be operational in 24 months time, which will be October 2022.
Mrs Akinajo said: “The red line is supposed to be a quick win because it will share tracks with the Nigerian Railway Corporation on its Lagos – Ibadan rail corridor. There will be no delays, no budget or cost overrun and there will not be any shift in delivery date.
“Our recent meeting was to take stock of what we have done so far since this project started and to re-emphasise that there is no room for slippage in the delivery of the red line.” Originally, the Blue Line was due to have become operational in 2018 but that too is not now expected to open until 2022.