Construction Commences on Red Line Metro Project in Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria’s Lagos State Government has announced the commencement of construction work on the 37-kilometer Red Line metro project from Agbado to Marina in Lagos.

By Diana Wachira on
23rd May 2021

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, flagged off construction works on the Rail Mass Transit Red Line that will move over 1 million commuters daily. 

The ground-breaking ceremony took place on April 15 at the site of the future Ikeja Train Station early. The ceremony was attended by the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Jamoh who represented Mr Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation. Also in attendance was Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State.

During the construction launch ceremony, the Governor also handed over cheques to displaced property owners whose properties, businesses and accommodation were affected by the Mass Transit Red Line’s right-of-way.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu breaking the ground for the construction of the 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line [Babajide Sanwo-Olu Twitter Handle | @jidesanwoolu]
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu breaking the ground for construction of the 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line [Babajide Sanwo-Olu Twitter Handle | @jidesanwoolu]

Speaking during the ground-breaking ceremony, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the red line rail corridor will be constructed in three phases. The first phase (Agbado-Iddo) will be completed in 24 months and will share the Federal Government’s Lagos-Ibadan railway track up to Ebute Metta. It will run on its dedicated track from Ebute – Metta to Oyingbo, reducing travel time from about two and a half hours to just 35 minutes. The first phase will have a passenger capacity of 500,000 daily and is expected to be operational by the last quarter of 2022.

“The State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which encompasses a number of projects that are germane to achieving our vision for a Greater Lagos, is founded on imperatives that seek to increase transport choices for all users and make the transit system integrated attractive, convenient, affordable and accessible”, said Mr. Sanwo-Olu

“Since efficient transportation is the backbone of any economy, we are happy to be committing this investment in our transport infrastructure so that our people can meet their daily targets and aspirations. This all-important transport project we are all gathered to witness today represents a major step in this direction.”

The governor also explained that to facilitate smooth operations of the Red Line, the State Government would construct supplementary infrastructure, including six overpasses. These overpasses would be at strategic level crossing points along the rail corridor to eliminate interaction between the rail system and vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The overpasses would provide grade-separated crossings that would enhance safety for the rail system and the road users.

The Governor said, “The unique characteristics of the Red Line is its integration with the Ikeja Bus Terminal, Oshodi–Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane, the future Orange Line, which goes from Ikeja to Agbowa, and the General Aviation Terminal One of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport through a skywalk.

“Another unique feature of the Red Line is that all the stations have elevated concourses with either at grade island or side platforms for easy boarding and alighting of passengers. The Red Line also integrates with our Bus Terminals at Oyingbo, Yaba, Oshodi, Ikeja, and Iju, giving modal options to our people in their daily commute, either for business or leisure.”

The Red Line is the second section of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit network be constructed. According to the Governor, the Blue Line which is presently under construction and which will run from Okokomaiko to Marina, is currently at 78% completion stage.

Governor Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the Red Line was being funded through the Differentiated Cash Reserve Requirement (DCRR) programme – a financing package put in place by the State Government through the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN). The Governor expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN Governor, Dr. Godwin Emefiele, for supporting the State in the bid to make the project a reality. He also praised the bankers who facilitated the funding.

ConstructAfrica had previously reported that in October last year, the Lagos State House of Assembly approved the sum of NGN153 billion (approximately US$375 million) requested by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for construction of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Red Line and the Blue Line.
The transaction adviser for the Blue line is CPCS Transcom. is the transaction adviser for the Red line is Dar Al-Handasah. The transaction advisers conducted feasibility studies and conceptual design work for their respective lines.

Top Photo: Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo, explaining the Red Line project to Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the official launch of construction works

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