A Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) team on Thursday visited the Red/Blue Rail Line Projects being constructed by the Lagos State Government, through the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), and financed under the Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF) – Differentiated Cash Reserve Requirement (DCRR) of Central Bank of Nigeria’s Intervention Loan Facility.
The Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo, who received the team on behalf of the State Government, explained that the project initially had some challenges, which included obtaining Right Of Way as well as payment of compensation to property owners, amongst others.
Akinajo, however, assured that the project has now fully commenced and is projected for completion by the end of Y2022.
Her words: “The implementation of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Redline Project will be executed in three phases. In Phase 1, the construction and operation of the rail system from Oyingbo to Agbado, sharing the track of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) standard gauge from Ebute Metta to Agbado; Phase 2, involves the extension of the Red Line Rail system and operation of the railway system from Oyingbo to Agbado through an elevated rail infrastructure across the Lagoon; Phase 3, entails the construction of independent rail systems and operation from Oyingbo to Marina”.
“The Blue Rail project, which is expected to run from Badagry to Marina, will have several platforms for passengers to buy tickets, embark and disembark from the platform”, the Managing Director”.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Debt Management Office (DMO), Mr. Olujimi Ige, said that the Lagos State Government plans to finance Phase 1 of the LRMT Red Rail Line project by way of RSSF – DCRR – CBN Intervention Loan Facility, which will be syndicated by three Deposit Money Banks/Financial Institutions.
He added that a portion of the Red Rail Line project will, however, be financed from the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) towards the end of the contract, stressing that the CBN-DCRR Intervention is to assist States in rapid infrastructure development through loans given at a reduced rate.
The CBN team, led by Mr. Gamma Kwaji, an Assistant Director, expressed satisfaction with the level of work done so far, stressing that he was optimistic that the project will be completed within the timeline projected.
Recall that the Lagos State Government embarked on the LRMT Rail project to improve movement and connectivity for more efficient travel time across the State.