The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Tuesday inaugurated the first phase of the Lagos Blue Rail Line.
This was as he joined other top government officials in a maiden ride from the Marina Station to National Theatre Station.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, revealed this in a statement he signed on Tuesday titled ‘President Buhari inaugurates Phase 1 of Lagos Blue Rail Line; takes train ride.’
Speaking at the event, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, stated that the Line would accommodate about 25,000 passengers per hour, thereby reducing travel time, improve the quality of life of Lagosians, and make the state one of the most resilient mega-cities in Africa.
He added that the piece of infrastructure will position Lagos to compete favourably with other megacities globally.
The governor said, “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.”
Sanwo-Olu also 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.
The Lagos Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, said the Blue Line project owed its origin to the current presidential candidate of the APC and one-time Lagos Governor, Bola Tinubu.
According to him, Tinubu envisioned and laid the foundation for the project as governor.
He noted that the master plan has six rail lines and one monorail, 14 Bus Rapid Transit corridors, over 20 water routes, and several major roads.
“Talking about the Blue line without making a reference to the ground-breaking contributions of the presidential candidate of our great party, Asiwaju Bola 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, which laid out the foundation for a network of robust and modern transport infrastructure befitting a 21st century City-State, such as ours,” Hamzat said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun, said the completion of Phase 1 of the project is a demonstration of the harmony in the bilateral relations between Nigeria and the Asian Tiger.
Thereafter, Buhari boarded the train alongside the Lagos State Governor, his Deputy, members of the Federal and State Executive Councils, members of the Federal and State Legislative Assemblies, the President of China Civil Engineering Construction Company, Chen Sichang; and journalists, among others.
The President also witnessed the signing of the contract for the construction of the second phase of the Lagos Blue Rail Line by the Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, Abimbola Akinajo, and the President of CCECC, Chen Sichang.
The first phase of the project executed by the State Government spans 13 kilometers.
It has five stations; Mile 2, Suru-Alaba, Orile Iganmu, National Theatre, and Marina.
Earlier, the President also inaugurated the John Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History, after which he departed Lagos for Dakar, Senegal, to attend the high-level Dakar 2 Summit hosted by President Macky Sall of Senegal and the Chairperson of the African Union.