Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has said his predecessor, Akinwunmi Ambode, failed to commit funds for rail projects embarked upon by previous governors in the state.
Speaking on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics, Mr Sanwo-Olu said that since the beginning of his administration there has been significant improvement in the construction of the railway projects.
“Well, unfortunately, I don’t criticise my predecessors but indeed for whatever planning or reasons, he never just funded it,” Mr Sanwo-Olu said.
“When we came back last two years, the contractor has since significantly moved from about 55 per cent to about 93 per cent in terms of the physical construction of phase 1.”
Reacting to the cost of the rail projects, he said “It is a lot of money, it is well over N100 billion,” adding that it was largely funded by the state government.
According to him, the rail project will be operational by the last quarter of 2022.
The Lagos light rail network was flagged off in 2003 by the then governor, Bola Tinubu. But actual work started during the administration of Babatunde Fashola.
Mr Ambode did not immediately respond to requests for comments. His former spokesperson, Habib Aruna, also told PREMIUM TIMES he no longer works for the former governor.
Last week, Mr Sanwo-Olu officially flagged off the construction of the Agbado-Marina rail line, also known as the Red Line.
“The Blue Line is meant to start from Okokomaiko, that is Lagos West, it is on the Lagos Badagry Expressway, after LASU, it is supposed to come from Okokomaiko to Mile 2, through Orile, take it elevated, pass National Art Theatre, and finally ends up in Marina. So, it is 29 kilometres,” Mr Sanwo-Olu said during the Channels TV programme.
He mentioned that the Blue Line is in two phases, the first one from Marina to Mile 2 while phase two is from Marina Mile 2 to Okokomaiko.
He said the Red Line is on the Lagos Central District into the Lagos West and would start from Oyinbo, connect Ebute-metta, Yaba, Jibowu, Mushin, Ilupeju, Oshodi, Ikeja and Agege, Iju and finally at Agbado giving modal options to people in their daily commute.
The governor also said the Red Line would have 12 proposed stations and the first phase would cover Agbado to Oyingbo, with nine stations.