The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it is impressed with the level of on-going work on the Lagos Blue Rail Line Project.
Director, Development Finance of the CBN, Yussuf Phillip, said yesterday at the inspection of the project that “ The CBN is here to monitor and evaluate the progress of the Blue Line project being embarked on by the Lagos State Government.
“The CBN through some banks (Access Bank, Sterling Bank and Fidelity Bank) have provided funding under this intervention to ensure that Lagos State has the right funding for this project.
“The total amount that we have made available for these lines is N60 billion. We have disbursed N45 billion. There is another tranche of N15 billion too. So we can see the progress as it matches the disbursement that we have made so far.
“I am quite impressed with what I see on ground. Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) has taken us round and we can see the solid structure that is being built in Marina. We are confident based on what we have been shown that progress has been made.
“Remember that disbursement of this fund is being done in tranches. So another tranche is due and as a Central Bank we felt that it is quite important to come and see what is on ground.
“The quality of work is quite impressive. They have shown us when to expect it to be completed. They have taken us through some technical details. “Luckily, I am an engineer and I appreciate the amount of work they have done. But for me, more importantly, is the jobs that I see. I see young people, working Nigerians whether welding, fabric aging. There are over 500 jobs on site.
That is a very good take away and so many other stations they are working on. So I am happy to have met some of them.”
Managing Director, LAMATA, Engr. Abimbola Akinoja, said that the rail line which will commence operation in the fourth quarter of next year (Q4’22) will be having five stations which are 98 per cent done.
“This site is the Marina Station called the blue line. The blue line is a rail line that goes from Okokomaiko to Marina. And as we know, all over the world, we construct rail lines in phases. So we are constructing the first operational phase of the blue line which is actually from mile 2 to Marina. We have five stations that are going to be built within this phase. That is Mile 2, Alaba, Iganmu, National Theatre and Marina.
“So the first stations I mentioned earlier are a bit completed. They are about 98 percent done. This is Marina station which is the final station and like the Director from CBN said, this is an interchange station. Marina will actually become very important in the transportation hub in Lagos State because we will have the blue line which will terminate here and the red line which will also terminate here and the green line that will come from Lekki and will terminate in Marina and the Mono-rail will also have a station here.
“The vision of the State is that this will be operational in the fourth quarter 2022 and that is what we are working towards and as we are, we are on track. One of the major thing in any project is having funding and the support that the support we are having from CBN and the other three banks (Access bank, Sterling Bank and Fidelity Bank) that are supporting us on the blue line, we will ensure that we will ensure that we meet our goal and our target which is last quarter 2022.
“The state is envisioning that we will work with the concessionaire.
“So right now, as part of the funding that we have had from CBN and the banks, we have three sets of coach trains so that when we start we can start with that. But we were also inviting the private sector to come and work with us and be the concessionaire on this so that they will take over the running and that will mean that we will have more train sets, more coaches will come once the private sector comes. Each of the three trains will move nothing less than a thousand passengers. The entire project from Okokomaiko to Marina is 27 kilometers”, she said.