Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has demanded the Federal Government’s support in funding critical capital projects in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu made the demand when the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on the mass transit scheme, led by Victor Ogeme, visited him on Monday at Alausa, Lagos.
Represented by Obafemi Hamzat, his deputy, the governor said the state had achieved so much in the transportation sector.
According to him, given the population of Lagos, the government shoulders a heavy responsibility of making life easier for the people, but it needs the assistance of the Federal Government in terms of funding the state’s projects.
These projects, he said, would contribute to the country’s gross domestic product.
“Funding is necessary for governance; likewise, it helps in making the work easy and effective. The state needs the assistance of the federal to enable it to run effectively, especially in capital projects,” he said.
The governor noted that if the big cities were not taken care of, there would be no progress recorded in the country.
Highlighting some of the capital projects undertaken by the state government, Sanwo-Olu said that the government took up the blue rail line due to the large population in the state.
“The state is the first to take up such as no other sub-sovereign anywhere in the world has run rail without the federal government’s interventions.
“Also, it will be difficult to run a city like Lagos without mass transit.
“The government cannot have a city that is 0.4 percent of the land mass of the country but hosts 11 percent of the population, it will be chaotic,” the governor explained.
Sanwo-Olu also noted that the first phase of the 27km blue rail project had just been completed running from Marina to Okokomaiko.
“The 14km of the second phase has been awarded and will be commencing soon.”
The governor stated that the blue rail transports about 150,000 people daily adding that upon its completion, it is estimated to transport between 480,000 and 500,000 people daily.
According to him, the execution of the Blue Line rail took a long time because of its financial implications.
The governor also disclosed that at the commencement of the red line operation, it is expected to convey one million people of Lagos daily to their various destinations.
On water transportation, he said the state government strengthened its Lagferry operations, with the purchase of more ferries.
The governor explained that the intermodal mass transit scheme on land, rail and water helped convey a large population around the state with prices regulated by the government.
Earlier in his remarks, the ad-hoc committee chairman stated that the committee was charged with the mass transit scheme by looking into the failure of the schemes and proffer solutions.
Ogeme said the committee deemed it fit to visit Lagos in order to see the running of the state mass transit scheme especially during the fuel subsidy removal.
The chairman commended the government for the infrastructure put up in the state, adding that they were worthy of emulation by other states.