Buhari commissions Lagos Blue Line Light Rail project

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… FG granted us waivers on customs duties to ship equipment – Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday applauded the role played by President Muhammadu Buhari in the actualisation of the first phase of the Lagos Blue Line Rail project. He said the President granted the state government waivers on customs duties to ship-in infrastructure equipment for the project.

Sanwo-Olu spoke during the commissioning of the first phase of the Blue Line Rail by President Muhammadu Buhari, held at Marina, Lagos.

“The completion of the Blue Line here, the first rail system by a sub-national in Africa is a sea crossing. It’s a testament that indeed, the dark days of oppression are behind us as a government and what we will be commissioning here today is the first phase.

“Mr. President, I want to thank you for your commitment, I want to thank you for the support you have given us. Eventually for the last time, and I think it is important for us to mention it again, you have given us waivers, you have given us clearing waivers on custom duties even to bring our trains for this project.

“We are indeed very happy with you. We understand that when we have people-driven projects that are important, you have been supportive at all times,” he said.

According to Sanwo-Olu, the rail infrastructure is “expected to cover less than 15 minutes as compared to a journey time that hitherto will take about an hour and a half to two hours.”

He disclosed that it has the benefits to reduce travel time, improve the quality of lives of citizens and will make Lagos one of the most resilient cities not only in Africa, but to compete with other mega cities in the world.
Sanwo-Olu who emphasised that the Blue Line is to be powered end to end by high voltage electricity, supplied by dedicated independent power with a back-up system, said the train has the capacity to transport per hour, an average of 25,000 passengers.

He disclosed that the Red Line which is larger in extension would be commissioned before the end of the Buhari’s administration.

Also speaking, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat described the project as the “most audacious rail project to be funded by a sub-national government” in Nigeria, saying that it is not surprising that the landmark Blue Rail would reduce pressure on road and put the state on the pedestal of other cities around the world.

Also on Tuesday, President Buhari unveiled the newly built John Randle centre for Yoruba and history
In an interview after the event, Commissioner for Tourism Uzamat Akinbile Yussuf said the museum will stimulate the local economy of the state by bringing tourists from within and outside the country.

She said: “I must also stress that apart from this Centre being a Museum it is multi-faceted and an all-encompassing tourism asset that portrays the indigenous culture of not only Lagosians but the entire Yoruba race. It is indeed a Centre that creates avenue for younger generations to have first in depth knowledge about our culture that is nearly going into extinction. So, it is a knowledge sharing Centre.”

Uzamat, who praised Governor Sanwo-Olu for his commitment into making the project a reality, also praised the contributions of organisations and individuals for their support, particularly the Randle family, Minister for Information and Culture; Alhaji Lai Muhammed, DG National Museum and British Museum.

Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi praised Governor Sanwo-Olu for his commitment. He said the preservation of the artifacts was very important thereby preserving the history of the Yoruba.

“This is very good; we can showcase it to many generations,” he said.

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