The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday said the Lagos-Ibadan rail project will open up the economic corridor between Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states.
Sanwo-Olu gave the hint at the official commissioning of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He described the rail project as another testimonial of good administration by the government.
“The standard gauge railway project being commissioned here today is yet another testimony and an example of your administration’s investment in Lagos State. This is truly a landmark project being the first standard gauge in the history of this country. I am indeed delighted to be speaking today on behalf of my brother governors of Ogun and Oyo states. Of course, it passes through these states.
“The Lagos-Ibadan standard rail project is a testament to the commitment of Mr President to deliver transformational infrastructure to every part of this nation. It is also a testament to what is possible when national and sub-national governments work together for the benefit of the people,” he stated.
The governor reiterated that the social-economic benefits of the project cannot be over-emphasised.
“The social and economic benefit of this rail project cannot be over-emphasised. The corridor between Lagos, Ogun and Ibadan is arguably the most important commercial corridor in this country. Our three states have benefited greatly. Lagos will continue to be home to the flagship station of this rail line where we are seated, Mobolaji Johnson Station,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu maintained that with the commisioning of the rail project, one could work in Lagos, but live elsewhere.
His words, “With the commissioning of this rail line today, it will now be possible for people to work in Lagos and live outside Lagos, and of course vis-a-vis. It will radically transform life, work, and leisure for a multitude of our citizens along this corridor.
“It will open opportunity for investment, real estate corridor, urban development, and so on. It will encourage the private sector in the communities to take advantage of this opportunity this line has thrown up.”
The Lagos helmsman said the narrow-gauge railway line that was built more than a century ago accomplished a lot in terms of connecting distant parts of our country and opened up distant cultures and places, adding, “Now, we are talking about the 21st-century vision, and we have seen a transformational revolution taking place here today.”
According to him, “On our part in Lagos, we are ready to key into the national rail transformation agenda. The Red Line of our Lagos Metropolitan project, which we brought down recently, is also utilising part of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge corridor.”
Sanwo-Olu noted that the state is building a six-train terminal accross the corridor.
“We are building on the foundation the Federal Government has laid for us to create opportunities for teeming Lagosians to travel effectively and efficiently across the metropolis.
“We are building six train terminals and four over-passes along this corridor. The kind of synergy between the Federal Government and the state government should be the normal operating model for any infrastructure development in any country, Nigeria being an example of that,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, commended the Chinese government, through the China Exim Bank, for the loan that enabled the construction of the rail project.
He said, “We hope that we will get money to construct from Ibadan to Kano, so that we can complete the track and make sure that business takes place.
“We have about three or four projects. This month, we will start Kano-Kaduna and then we will also start Port Harcourt to Maiduguri which also is CCECC, and then, Kano-Maradi.”
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