The Infrastructure Bank Plc is to provide funds for the proposed $2 billion Lagos Red Line Rail project that will commute two million passengers daily from Alagbado to Marina in Lagos.
The bank is the chief promoter and financier of the rail project, which will stretch 37 kilometres with 36 pedestrian walk-over bridges to end at Marina, Lagos.
Speaking in Lagos at the 3rd Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) investment forum, Hakeem Olopade, executive director (projects), Infrastructure Bank Plc, said the funds to be coordinated by the bank will be sourced from the local and international markets.
According to Olopade, the project had been in conception since five years ago and would be implemented by Marina Express Consortium to ease transportation in populated areas of Lagos.
Olopade said that the Red Line and the ongoing Blue Line rail projects would converge on a “signature bridge” to link the Mainland to Marina, saying “the bridge would cost $200 million.”
He said that the Red Line rail project might be extended to Ogun State in the future, adding that “the Red Line rail project would be a two-type infrastructure which would cost one billion dollars each.”
The executive director said that the bank, in implementing the project, would be responsible for the fixed infrastructure as well as the operation and maintenance.
According to him, “The moving infrastructure would have a rail signal communication, among others. One of the core objectives of the Red Line project was to provide a world class rail system. The bank would also ensure that there was constant improvement in the area of service delivery to the people of Lagos State,” he added.
The bank executive identified skill and training as paramount to the project and said that the bank was assembling a global team to implement the project.
“We also want to make sure that as we provide training and skill services, there is a clear system of transfer programme to ensure that within a short time, the rail would be run by Nigerians for Nigerians. We also have a corporate social responsibility, as core driver of the project, by creating one thousand direct jobs apart from the indirect jobs that would also be provided on the corridors,” Olopade said, noting that there would be signal that would be laid on the track corridor for free access to internet for school children.
“We are also conscious of school passengers and pensioners and there would be aggregate tariff for them to benefit from the rails service. The project was part of the World Bank’s sponsored study for transport infrastructure and solution for Lagos. The BRT, which is the Bus Rapid Transport, also came out of that study. This railway project is part of the integrated mode of transportation from that study. There would be seven metro lines and the Red Line and Blue Line are the prototypes that Lagos State has agreed to commission as a starter. The Blue Line is already taken by the state. The Red Line is going to be a concession that would be run by the private sector,” Olopade said.