• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Sanwo-olu carries out final inspection ahead of Lagos Red Rail launch


The red rail line project in Lagos state, spearheaded by governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is undergoing final inspections ahead of its inauguration. Sanwo-Olu initiated this extensive infrastructure project during his first term in office.

“The tour is for us to get prepared for the eventual commissioning of the entire red line train stations and red line infrastructure,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The first test drive of the rail route is set to commence immediately after the inauguration by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on 29th February, 2024.

Sanwo-Olu emphasised the need for traders to cease selling along the rail corridor, warning that those found in violation would face legal consequences.

The red line rail project spans 37 kilometres from Agbado to Marina, encompassing 13 stations including Ikeja, Iju, Yaba, and Mushin, and is reported to be 95 percent complete. Sanwo-Olu, alongside his deputy Catherine Hamzat, the managing director of the Lagos metropolitan area transport authority, and the commissioner for environment and transportation, conducted an inspection to ensure the timely completion of all construction and engineering work before the inauguration date.

The inspection covered key areas such as Obalende, Ijora, Oshodi, Agege, and concluded at the Ikeja red line train station. Sanwo-Olu reiterated the commitment to clearing shanties and reclaiming the right of way for the rail project. To ensure passenger safety once the red line rail becomes fully operational.

Addressing challenges encountered during the inspection, Sanwo-Olu emphasised the need to maintain strict enforcement against encroachments along the rail tracks. He also proposed collaborating with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to construct physical walls near train stations to enhance passenger safety and security.

“A few observations in form of challenges have been made. You can see the effort it is taking us to clear the rail tracks, and once the clearing is finished you will see people go back almost immediately there again. So this is also another level of warning because we will not stop clearing them,” Sanwo-Olu said.

“So we will also work with NRC to see if we can also wall off some of the tracks closer to the train station so that we can do up to 300 to 400 metres of wall, real physical wall, not the little barricade that you see. So that we can keep the safety of passengers when they come on the platform to embark on the trains. This way, we can keep the train stations safe and secure for everyone,” Sanwo Olu said.

The red line project is scheduled for commissioning next Thursday, aimed at alleviating traffic congestion in Lagos state.