• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Investors stake N400bn in Lagos ‘red line’ rail system


Investors are staking $2.5 billion (about N400 billion) to bring the Red Line rail system in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub, to reality.

The Red Line rail is designed to run on existing Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) facilities which are to be upgraded and modernised, running from Agbado on the outskirts of Lagos, through Iddo, and terminating at Marina on the Lagos Island. The Lagos State government has entered into a mutual agreement with the NRC to facilitate the smooth operation of the system.

The state is looking forward to building two major rail lines to complement and strengthen the planned inter-modal public transportation system in the commercial city. While the Red Line is designed to serve commuters on the Agbado-Iddo-Marina axis, the other system, known as the ‘Blue Line’ the construction of which has since commenced, will move commuters on a large scale on the Lagos-Badagry corridor. It is to take-off from Okokomaiko through Mile 2 and the National Arts Theatre, terminating also at Marina.

A consortium of investors in the Red Line rail system, under Marina Express, a consulting firm, is seeking financing from Infrastructure Bank to the tune of $2.5 billion to realise the project.

The Red Line, when completed, along with the Blue Line, will ease difficulties associated with public transportation in the state, as both are expected to move about one million passengers per day. The population of Lagos is estimated to hit 25 million people by 2015.

Jonan Kruger, vice chairman of Infrastructure Bank, at a recent event in Lagos, said the bank had been in negotiation with Lagos State government to ensure investors derive the expected benefits from their investment when the project becomes operational.

Aderemi Ibirogba, Lagos State

commissioner for information and strategy, told BusinessDay that the state government was committed to the building of enduring public transportation facilities, in line with its planned inter-modal transportation system.

The inter-modal system, he said, would see the state marrying of water, road and rail transportation facilities into one system, enabling commuters to engage the three in their movement from one part of Lagos to another. Ibirogba said this accounts for the ongoing massive investment in ferry jetties in different areas of Lagos, including Ikorodu, Marina, Mile 2 and Osborn in Ikoyi, among others.