As part of his day-two visit to Lagos, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commissioned first phase of the Lagos Blue Rail Line.
The first phase of the project, executed by the State Government, which spans 13 kilometers, has five stations – Mile 2, Suru-Alaba, Orile Iganmu, National Theatre and Marina.
The president said the project which is executed today was envisioned by the former governor of the state and now presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In his remarks, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, thanked the President for the State Visit to commission several landmark projects, noting that since 1999 the State has not enjoyed this level of support from the Federal Government.
On the benefits of the project, Governor Sanwo-Olu stated that it would reduce travel time, improve the quality of life of citizens and make Lagos one of the most resilient mega-cities in Africa that would compete favorably with other megacities around the world.
The Governor hinted that he would invite the President again to Lagos to commission the Red Line, which he described as a bigger rail corridor project compared with the Blue Rail Line.
‘‘This iconic Marina Station would be the largest and busiest in Africa. It has the capacity to process about 450 passengers per minute, meaning that in an hour this station can process about 25,000 passengers,’’ he said.
On his part, the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, noted the pioneering role of Tinubu in envisioning and laying the foundation for the project, as governor of Lagos State.
He said: ‘‘Talking about the Blue line without making a reference to the ground-breaking contributions of the presidential candidate of our great party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is like talking about the beach without the ocean.
‘‘A visionary leader, Asiwaju Tinubu pioneered the idea of the Lagos Blue Line and many other revolutionary initiatives.
‘‘The Tinubu administration developed the Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP), which laid out the foundation for a network of robust and modern transport infrastructure befitting a 21st century City-State, such as ours.
‘‘The master plan has six rail lines and one monorail, 14 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors, over 20 water routes and a number of major roads.
‘‘Thanks to Asiwaju’s creative leadership, today, we are making history with the completion of this rail line,’’ he said.
Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Cui Jianchun said the completion of the first phase of the project is a demonstration of the harmony in the bilateral relations between Nigeria and China.
‘‘It is a harmony in integration, diversity, and development,’’ he said.
President Buhari took a ride on the train from the Marina Station to National Theatre Station. He was aboard the trip with Governor Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, Hamzat, members of the Federal and State Executive Councils, members of the Federal and State Legislative Assemblies, President of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), Chen Sichang, among others.
The president also witnessed the signing of the contract for the construction of second phase of the Lagos Blue Rail Line by the Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. Abimbola Akinajo and President of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), Chen Sichang.
Buhari also inaugurated John Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History, after which he toured the facility.
The president had on Monday commissioned the Lekki Deep Seaport, a $1.5 billion investment between the Federal Government through the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Lagos State government on one hand, and the Tolarams Group and China Harbour Engineering Company. On the same day, the president also commissioned a rice mill at Imota, Lagos, constructed by Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration.
Buhari Attends Dakar International Conference on Agriculture
President Buhari after the Tuesday event in Lagos, left for Dakar, Senegal, to attend second edition of Dakar International Conference on Agriculture.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the conference which is convened jointly by the government of Senegal and the Africa Development Bank, “Seeks to create favourable conditions toward achieving food security in Africa.”
The theme of the conference is, “Feeding Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience.”
President Buhari is expected back in the country on Wednesday, January 25.